Legend has it that in the early days of Christianity, the Apostle James, while preaching the Gospel in Zaragoza, experienced an apparition of the Virgin Mary standing on a pillar (pilar), accompanied by angels. The Virgin assured the Apostle that the people would eventually be converted and their faith would be as strong as the pillar she was standing on.
Fast forward to the present: hundreds of thousands of faithful, wearing festive native costumes, participate in a procession to the statue of the Virgin in the Plaza del Pilar and place flowers there to show their devotion to their patroness. This procession begins at 7:30 in the morning, pauses for a Mass at mid-day and continues for upwards of eight hours.
Trying to get around this city during the Offering of the Flowers is akin to trying to get around New York City during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Except the people are less drunk and way more polite.
Tomorrow we plan to try to get to the actual plaza to see the result of this year’s offering.