Saints DayNext Friday – 12th October is a national holiday in Spain. It is also Saint Day for anyone called Pilar (many Spaniards, especially the older generations, celebrate their saint day more than their birthday). Pilar is the Patron Saint of Zaragoza.

The origins of 12th October celebrations go back to the beginning of last century. In 1913 Faustino Rodriguez San Pedro (a wealthy and influential Spanish business man and lawyer and at that time Chairman of an organization called the Iberoamerican Union) proposed that 12th October (which was already a festival in many South American countries and in Zaragoza in honour of the Virgin Pilar) be called Fiesta de la Raza – literally Festival of the Race, i.e. the Spanish race – and be celebrated throughout Spain and Latin America. La Fiesta de la Raza duly became an official national holiday in 1918 in Spain and some American countries, where the 12th October was already a national holiday, started calling their national day Fiesta