Zaragoza Events, Fiestas and Festivals
(Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain)
Ranging from traditional Spanish celebrations to lively local events, Zaragoza has an extensive programme of events, which take place throughout the Zaragoza calendar. Notable festivals include the February carnivals, Holy Week parades around Easter, the fireworks and bonfires of Hoguera de San Juan each June, and Zaragoza's annual Fiestas del Pilar in October, which features a spectacular mountain of flowers in the Plaza del Pilar square.
A number of noteworthy events and celebrations also take place in towns and villages close to Zaragoza, where visitors are always welcomed. The tourist information centres in Zaragoza feature up-to-date events listings and festival details, which often include local concerts, markets and fairs.
National Public Holidays
- 1st January - Ano Nuevo / New Year's Day
- 5th January - Epifania / Epiphany
- 19th March - Dia de San José / St. Joseph's Day
- Late March or early April - Jueves Santo / Maundy Thursday
- Late March or early April - Viernes Santo / Good Friday
- 1st May - Fiesta del Trabajo / Labour Day
- 15th August - La Asunción / Feast of the Assumption
- 12th October - Nacional de Espana / National Day
- 1st November - Todos los Santos / All Saints' Day
- 6th December - Dia de la Constitución / Constitution Day
- 8th December - La Inmaculada Concepción / Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 25th December - Navidad / Christmas Day
Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
- Cabalgata de los Reyes (Three Holy Kings / Wise Men) - January 5th, a Christmas-related event, with a parade through the central streets of Zaragoza, featuring local celebrities dressed as the Three Kings. Starting around the Puerta del Carmen area, the parade continues along Calle Alfonso I, followed by decorated floats distributing presents and sweets to the many children in the crowds which line the streets. Other notable events include an enormous cake, which is proudly displayed and cut into small pieces at lunchtime, in the Plaza del Pilar.
- San Valero - late January, general festivities celebrating the life of Zaragoza's Patron Saint, based around the square of Plaza de los Sitios, with a host of workshops and events for families and children of all ages, music and concerts, and food stalls.
- Carnaval - early February, major event as Easter approaches, with elaborate parades of decorated floats between the Puerta del Carmen and Plaza del Pilar, together with competitions, parties and dancing into the night, based around the city's Auditorium Conference Palace.
- Cincomarzada Festival - early March, a huge event in Zaragoza, with open-air festivities based in the central park, celebrating the Carlist battle of 1838.
- Holy Week - mid-March, Holy Week in Zaragoza, attracting more than 100,000 visitors to the city, culminating in the spectacular Santo Entierro Procession, which is held on Good Friday.
- Lunes Santo - late March, the start of Easter is celebrated with a range of religious events, including a number of processions between local churches, such as the 'Cofradia de Jesús del Camino' and the 'Cofradia de la Exaltación de la Cruz'.
- Domingo de Ramos - early April, Easter celebrations around Zaragoza starting with Palm Sunday, which includes religious festivities and many churches, with a parade leading to the Catedral del Salvador (Cathedral of the Saviour / La Seo Cathedral).
- Jueves Santo - mid-April, held every year on Easter Monday, with various religious parades and processions, including singing and drummers through the heart of the Casco Histórico district, and around the Basilica del Pilar (El Pilar Cathedral).
- Saint of Aragon Festivals - late April, celebrations, cultural events and open-air parties are held throughout the area, with numerous historic buildings holding open days and offering guided tours.
- Feria de Andalucia - late April / early May, based around the Actur area, with many outdoor events and fairs, together with traditional music and flamenco dancing.
- Primavera Cultural - early May, a notable cultural event with local markets, puppet shows for children, folk music, street entertainers, storytelling and concerts, based around Zaragoza's Delicias Park.
- Fiestas de Primavera - mid-May, heralding the arrival of spring, with many outdoor events around central Zaragoza, followed by annual exhibitions of art.
- Hoguera de San Juan - mid-June , festival of Saint John the Baptist, one of the country's most famous saints, with a range of events throughout Zaragoza celebrating the summer solstice, including street parties with colourful decorations, music, dancing, fireworks and a bonfire at midnight, with jumping over the flames.
- International Hip Hop Festival Zaragoza Ciudad - late June, an impressive annual hip-hop festival which has become one the of most notable events of its kind in the country, attracting both Spanish and international artists.
- Noches del Pignatelli - early July, with outdoor concerts, plays and poetry readings, held at the Diputación General de Aragón (DGA) building.
- Festival de Música Antigua de Daroca - mid-August, a popular music festival based in the town of Daroca, which is situated around 80 km / 50 miles fro Zaragoza and features many concerts at various venues, throughout August.
- El Cipotegato - late August, a famous festival held in Tarazona, 87 km / 54 miles from Zaragoza, including the legendary 'Storm of Tomatoes', parades and a fireworks display.
- Fiestas del Barrio Delicias - early September, with a host of street festivities and parties, together with concerts, theatrical performances and an impressive fireworks display, based around Zaragoza's Delicias district and lasting a week.
- Grandes Conciertos de Otono - early September, held every year, numerous classical music concerts take place in the Auditorio de Zaragoza, attracting both local and international orchestras.
- Carinena - mid-September, harvest celebrations around nearby villages, including fountains of wine.
- City of Zaragoza International Folk Festival - mid-September, with traditional costumes, folk music and dances from both Zaragoza and other countries.
- Fiestas del Pilar (Pilar Festival) - mid-October, a truly spectacular annual festival celebrating the Virgen del Pilar, with a host of events and parties attracting crowds of thousands. Highlights at the Fiestas del Pilar include concerts, parades of costumed 'Giants' and 'Bigheads' (Gigantes y Cabezudos), street bands and dancing, bullfighting at the Plaza de Toros bullring, exciting classical, rock and jazz concerts, sporting competitions and fireworks. This nine-day event commences on October 12th and is famous for its 'Offering of the Flowers' (Ofrenda de Flores), when costumed locals create a mountain of flowers in the centre of the Plaza del Pilar square, followed the next day by the 'Rosario de Cristal' parade, with lanterns and decorated crystal floats.
- Rosario de la Aurora - mid-October, a night-time parade on October 12th, part of the Fiestas del Pilar, starting at San Pablo Church and finishing at the Plaza del Pilar.
- Fiesta por la Integración - late October, a festival with running races, Spanish bands and parties, based around the city's main theme park, the Parque de Atracciones de Zaragoza.
- There are no notable festivals and events in Zaragoza during the month of November.
- The Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition - mid-December, a notable piano contest held in the Auditorio de Zaragoza every three years, attracting many prominent pianists from around the world.
- Las Uvas de Nochevieja (Grapes of New Year's Eve) - December 31st, New Year's Eve celebrations are held throughout Zaragoza, being concentrated around the Plaza del Pilar, where grapes are eaten as the clock strikes midnight, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.