Search 62305 Camino Questions

2023 festivals

Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Does anybody know of a good One-Stop place to find out what most of the festivals and special events might be taking place in 2023 on the Camino Frances?

Could you please give more details?
Every Spanish town, small or big and every tiny pueblo does have a local fiesta/romeria/local gig to celebrate throughout the whole year.
What are you searching for specifically?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Good question, and one I'm happy to use to spread the word about our forum tags and searches. :D

This thread now has the tag "fiestas/holidays/markets" under the title. Click on it and you will find a lot of threads on the topic, but maybe none that is quite as specific and complete as you might like. Or, from the Camino Frances forum (which is where we are now), I went to the Search box, entered "fiesta", and selected This forum instead of Everywhere. Here are the results you would get.

With Covid, a lot of events got cancelled. Some of them have returned, some haven't, and new ones are always being invented. Some events are held only every couple of years. I suppose it depends a lot on whether the local officials, merchants and volunteers are able to organize the event, and many factors can interfere. That's one reason why it is hard to get a definitive inventory.

Sometimes I google the name of a town, with "fiesta" and reach the website of the municipality or region, and they will announce days for the year to come.

Hopefully, members will post some good information here on this thread!
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)
Could you please give more details?
Every Spanish town, small or big and every tiny pueblo does have a local fiesta/romeria/local gig to celebrate throughout the whole year.
What are you searching for specifically?
Well that information was very helpful to know. I'm not searching for anything specific I had no idea that every little town had their own special event. I guess maybe I should say I'm looking for big events to plan my trip around to make sure I'm there when they happen. I'm sure there's a vast amount of stuff going on but I'm wonder if anybody knows of a website where you can go specifically to find out when and where the larger events are. Maybe that's still too vague but then again maybe there is a place out there that has this information. I don't want to search every town to figure out what event is taking place in every town. I guess I'm trying to figure out what the major events are and when they are and where they are.
 

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Well that information was very helpful to know. I'm not searching for anything specific I had no idea that every little town had their own special event. I guess maybe I should say I'm looking for big events to plan my trip around to make sure I'm there when they happen. I'm sure there's a vast amount of stuff going on but I'm wonder if anybody knows of a website where you can go specifically to find out when and where the larger events are. Maybe that's still too vague but then again maybe there is a place out there that has this information. I don't want to search every town to figure out what event is taking place in every town. I guess I'm trying to figure out what the major events are and when they are and where they are.

Well of course there is San Fermin in Pamplona and then San Mateo in Logroño , to name only two , though not in the same season.
Then there is Holy Week aka Semana Santa aka week before Easter.
The fun for me is to stumble on a local fiesta and just observe and/ or participate.

An all - encompassing website on all Spanish fiestas would prove to be difficult seeing every ( autonomous ) region has their own Boards of tourism.

Not all cities mentioned here are on the Camino Francés but it gives you an idea.




Even though Spain is now one of the most liberal countries when it comes to ethics and morals ( and a decaying number of churchgoers ) the veneration of a local Saint is more often than not the start for having a wild party in the village.
Be aware that Spaniards, young and old, like to party till early in the morning. So if you treasure your rest at night do not book a hotel close to the plaza mayor or any other place where the action is.
 
Last edited:
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Tincatinker

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
It’s a great question and an, as is often the case, an unanswerable one. @JudyWanaWander you’ve said you “want to be there when it happens”. Do some research on San Fermin. If you still want to be there, in Pamplona, when that happens go for it but book your accommodation well in advance. If you fancy San Mateo in Logrono go for that, just take some clothes you can throw away. You’ll never get the red wine out of a pair of “Wolfskin” trousers no matter how hard you scrub. The Black Friday processions anywhere they occur are not to be missed just don’t plan on getting much sleep.
The Asturias weekend in Oviedo is a great party; but the un-expected, surprises to be encountered at random in the poco pueblo that don’t even get a mention in the guidebooks - they’re the ones worth encountering: and you can’t plan for them.
Though, that said, the Fiera Orujo in Potes on the Lebaniego publishes its occurrence on each New Year’s Day I love that Asturias sense of humour
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Well that information was very helpful to know. I'm not searching for anything specific I had no idea that every little town had their own special event. I guess maybe I should say I'm looking for big events to plan my trip around to make sure I'm there when they happen. I'm sure there's a vast amount of stuff going on but I'm wonder if anybody knows of a website where you can go specifically to find out when and where the larger events are. Maybe that's still too vague but then again maybe there is a place out there that has this information. I don't want to search every town to figure out what event is taking place in every town. I guess I'm trying to figure out what the major events are and when they are and where they are.
Sabine’s reply is helpful but, essentially, Spain doesn’t work how you might like it to.

Also as Tincatinker implies; there being a festival and anyone in full possession of their marbles wanting to be caught up in it can be two very different things.

And doesn’t every ‘little town’ have their own event wherever you come from?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Texas Walker

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Hello, fellow peregrina! It's important to let go of the "me" and the idea that the important thing about the Camino--or the villages--is what I get to see or do. The Camino is a pilgrimage, not a mere sightseeing walk...though many enjoy it for that aspect. I have only been near a local festa once, Sao Tonio in Lusboa, and we had to go to bed early as we were walking the next morning, but it was really neat. And the next morning we commenced our walk on the Portugues.

But the most important thing of the Camino, the one that turns your world upside down when it happens, is to learn to trust. Trust God, trust Santiago, trust your guardian angel. The rest is gravy.
Buen camino, dear sister!
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)
Good question, and one I'm happy to use to spread the word about our forum tags and searches. :D

This thread now has the tag "fiestas/holidays/markets" under the title. Click on it and you will find a lot of threads on the topic, but maybe none that is quite as specific and complete as you might like. Or, from the Camino Frances forum (which is where we are now), I went to the Search box, entered "fiesta", and selected This forum instead of Everywhere. Here are the results you would get.

With Covid, a lot of events got cancelled. Some of them have returned, some haven't, and new ones are always being invented. Some events are held only every couple of years. I suppose it depends a lot on whether the local official, merchants and volunteers are able to organize the event, and many factors can interfere. That's one reason why it is hard to get a definitive inventory.

Sometimes I google the name of a town, with "fiesta" and reach the website of the municipality or region, and they will announce days for the year to come.

Hopefully, members will post some good information here on this thread!
Thank you, very informative.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)
Hello, fellow peregrina! It's important to let go of the "me" and the idea that the important thing about the Camino--or the villages--is what I get to see or do. The Camino is a pilgrimage, not a mere sightseeing walk...though many enjoy it for that aspect. I have only been near a local festa once, Sao Tonio in Lusboa, and we had to go to bed early as we were walking the next morning, but it was really neat. And the next morning we commenced our walk on the Portugues.

But the most important thing of the Camino, the one that turns your world upside down when it happens, is to learn to trust. Trust God, trust Santiago, trust your guardian angel. The rest is gravy.
Buen camino, dear sister!
Thank you for your perspective. I think there's nothing wrong with planning and looking ahead. Please don't assume you know me or know what I think of the Camino or how I'm going to do my Camino. I seem to get a lot of lectures on this platform about how to do the Camino. One thing I have learned everybody's Camino is their own and everybody's way is their own.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)
It’s a great question and an, as is often the case, an unanswerable one. @JudyWanaWander you’ve said you “want to be there when it happens”. Do some research on San Fermin. If you still want to be there, in Pamplona, when that happens go for it but book your accommodation well in advance. If you fancy San Mateo in Logrono go for that, just take some clothes you can throw away. You’ll never get the red wine out of a pair of “Wolfskin” trousers no matter how hard you scrub. The Black Friday processions anywhere they occur are not to be missed just don’t plan on getting much sleep.
The Asturias weekend in Oviedo is a great party; but the un-expected, surprises to be encountered at random in the poco pueblo that don’t even get a mention in the guidebooks - they’re the ones worth encountering: and you can’t plan for them.
Though, that said, the Fiera Orujo in Potes on the Lebaniego publishes its occurrence on each New Year’s Day I love that Asturias sense of humour
Very helpful thank you
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I am not aware of a one stop shop for each Camino, however, I know that city tourism offices often have this information. Last year I served at Canfranc Pueblo on the Aragones and there was something happening regularly all summer. A booklet was published with all the events. In the 2 weeks we were there, there were at least 3 different types of festivals in our town and ones within walking distance. It was really the first time for many if them since Covid.

In 2019 our hospitalero service in July coincided with a "medieval festival" in Estella. In December of 2017 and 2018, in both Zamora and tiny Grañón we encountered local celebrations including Nativity contests, local footraces, etc.

I know La Voz de Galicia newspaper in Santiago puts out a regular weekly article about things to do in the region each weekend. It is in Spanish, but can be translated easily with an app.

As a pilgrim walking, sometimes you will find a shortage of beds during festivals and you may find the activities exciting until you try to sleep. I suggest you book a hotel away from the Plaza Mayor where you can come and go and be away from the music a bit so you are not kept awake all night. Room prices may also be higher during these dates.

Overall, we found the festivals fun, just like ones you may experience in rural America in small communities in the summer.
 

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Thank you for your perspective. I think there's nothing wrong with planning and looking ahead. Please don't assume you know me or know what I think of the Camino or how I'm going to do my Camino. I seem to get a lot of lectures on this platform about how to do the Camino. One thing I have learned everybody's Camino is their own and everybody's way is their own.

Can you tell us in which season you think to walk the Camino and which one?
Would be fun to look up some possible fiestas for you to explore.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I can't really say which might be best for festivals. Galicia seems to have a lot of fall festivals surrounding harvest, but there is also St James Day in July in Santiago. July is a super hot month to walk, but I have experienced two medieval festivals in that month in smaller towns. I know Easter and Christmas, New Years through the Coming of the Kings are also epic festival times in Spain. We went to the parade in Burgos to welcome the Kings on the evening of January 6 one year. This happens across Spain so you are liable to catch a parade or festival welcoming the Kings in most communities. So much fun!

Maybe during lent or in winter January, February you won't find as much going on between holidays, but seems like there is always something interesting going on much of the rest of the year. Check with the tourist offices in the larger towns (Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Ponferrada) to see if there is a community calendar of not to miss activities. Other Camino routes you can do the same in larger communities. Usually these are posted online with some kind of community calendar and will include neighboring small communities in the region.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have walked the Frances many times and accidentally participated in lots of town festivals. It is hard to find a consummate list because some festivals deal with wine, others a patron Saint and then many are a day of lining the streets to watch the running of bulls to a local bull ring. If you are lucky you will find one of these and plan to spend an extra night for sure
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Time and Date also has a list:


Sahagün celebrates Day of San Juan of Sahagün for a few days around June 12th. It has a number of events of varying degrees of wholesomeness. I think of it as Pamplona's festival of San Fermin as it may have been back in Hemingway's day.
 

Joanne P

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June 2018 & June 2020
In 2018 there was a medieval festival in Hospital de Orbigo on the first weekend in June. We flew into Madrid, hired a car and drove there, enjoyed the festivities for two days, drove the car to Pamplona, then got a taxi to SJPDP to start our Camino. We absolutely loved it.
Buen Camino 🙂
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

bbanks1217

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Way of Le Puy 2016
CF 2017
Portuguese 2019
Does anybody know of a good One-Stop place to find out what most of the festivals and special events might be taking place in 2023 on the Camino Frances?
In 2017, we had rest days in Logrono and Leon and in both places and we lucked out that there were big festivals. In Logrono, on September 20, 2017, there was the Harvest Festival and in Leon on October 4, 2017, there was the Medieval Festival. Both were great fun and we had two nights and one full day to enjoy the festivals. Search these two towns and the general dates we were there to get the time of year and see what you find. Sometimes you just luck out on these kinds of experiences on the Camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Well, that almost guarantees a chance to participate in the Holy Week festivities. If you can make it to Pamplona or Logrono for the 7th April you’ll see a profound spectacle.
The Spanish don’t make much of Beltane but the 1st of May is a challenge. No one works on Labour Day 😉
In Leon on my first camino in 2015, we got a great rate at a lovely quirky boutique hotel "Le Petit" near the center of town for April 30th, but the price doubled for May 1st, so we headed over to the "Benedictinas Santa Maria" convent for our second night. It was a step back in time, which charming in its own way.
Lots of partying of the locals and it was interesting to see them out with their families in the square.
 
Last edited:

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
Well, that almost guarantees a chance to participate in the Holy Week festivities. If you can make it to Pamplona or Logrono for the 7th April you’ll see a profound spectacle.
The Spanish don’t make much of Beltane but the 1st of May is a challenge. No one works on Labour Day 😉

I hesitate (actually, I don’t as it’s a good half hour after chucking-out time) to take issue with an authority on the subject, but the fiesta de San Juan bears a close resemblance to what all right-thinking chaps would regard as Beltane; timing, bonfires and all that.

On the general question posed above - a well- known search engine and an understanding that the only thing ‘centralised’ in Spain is Madrid, would come up with pretty much the same data.

Finally, before passing out (or before I pass out) if you take Hemingway’s recommendations as to what constitutes a good night out, or even a vaguely acceptable way of spending your time, then ( mindful of rule 2), you really need to take a long, hard look at yourself.



If I’ve got half the punctuation right in that then it’s thanks to muscle memory.
 
Last edited:
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Does anybody know of a good One-Stop place to find out what most of the festivals and special events might be taking place in 2023 on the Camino Frances?

I had a few special experiences in very small towns, holding very small, local fiestas. However the larger ones I avoid like the plague. Others may enjoy them, but after walking 25k, I'm usually not in the mood for accordion bands and revelry that goes on till 2am. The worst, interestingly enough since I am a wine lover, was the big Harvest Wine Festival in Logrono I happened upon. I got the last bed in the municipal albergue, grabbed some tapas to go and stayed in. The streets were filled with 20-30-somethings drinking - I'm not making this up - Coca Cola with red wine added. In the capital of La Rioja. Everyone was drunk, pissing in the street, sleeping on the sidewalk, making a lot of noise and a mess. I had hoped to visit a couple of my favorite wineries while there, but I didn't realize this would be happening, so I got out of there as fast as I could.

At another big town festival, tourists had arrived from all over Spain and some from other countries to take part. While hanging my laundry in the courtyard of the albergue, tourists were coming in, taking pictures of the "pilgrims" like we were in a zoo. Interesting to be the object of this!

One very large celebration, which was an enjoyable surprise for me, was coming into Leon during their 1000th anniversary. Yes, one thousand years. I arrived on my birthday in October and had a room on a second floor where I could watch the parade, with people from various nearby small towns wearing local costumes and walking beside ox carts. It was lovely.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)
Does anybody know of a good One-Stop place to find out what most of the festivals and special events might be taking place in 2023 on the Camino Frances?
The amazing Rick Steves has it all including a list of 2023 events and festivals here's a link
 
Time of past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2023)

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
The streets were filled with 20-30-somethings drinking - I'm not making this up - Coca Cola with red wine added. In the capital of La Rioja.
Nothing unusual about that in Basque country - it a Kalimotxo.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I had the good fortune to be in Santiago de Compostela on St James day. There were all sorts of public events and celebrations. In 2023, St James day in Santiago de Compostela is on Tuesday, 25th July. The celebrations seem to start a couple of days before hand and so you can get a feel for the event even if you are early.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
In 2018 there was a medieval festival in Hospital de Orbigo on the first weekend in June. We flew into Madrid, hired a car and drove there, enjoyed the festivities for two days, drove the car to Pamplona, then got a taxi to SJPDP to start our Camino. We absolutely loved it.
Buen Camino 🙂
I loved that festival in early June of 2018 and stayed an extra day just to enjoy it.
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Hello, fellow peregrina! It's important to let go of the "me" and the idea that the important thing about the Camino--or the villages--is what I get to see or do. The Camino is a pilgrimage, not a mere sightseeing walk...though many enjoy it for that aspect. I have only been near a local festa once, Sao Tonio in Lusboa, and we had to go to bed early as we were walking the next morning, but it was really neat. And the next morning we commenced our walk on the Portugues.

But the most important thing of the Camino, the one that turns your world upside down when it happens, is to learn to trust. Trust God, trust Santiago, trust your guardian angel. The rest is gravy.
Buen camino, dear sister!
Lots of "me" in your response. During my Camino I just happened to be in Logrono during one of their festivals. Great fun! Got to go to a real Spanish Bull Fight. Sat in the cheap seats with all the local rowdies. We made friends and they taught me the finer points of heckling at a bull fight. What a spectacle. But not something I would want to experience again. I was in another town while they were having a festival. I was holed up in my alburge not realizing what was going on a block away. During my evening walk all I saw was everyone packing up. While in Madrid for a few days waiting for my flight home I didn't realize a major football game was a short metro ride away and cheap tickets were available. It would have been something to see for this USA citizen. So yes it would be good to know if local festivals are taking place. To experience them or to avoid them.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Lots of "me" in your response. During my Camino I just happened to be in Logrono during one of their festivals. Great fun! Got to go to a real Spanish Bull Fight. Sat in the cheap seats with all the local rowdies. We made friends and they taught me the finer points of heckling at a bull fight. What a spectacle. But not something I would want to experience again. I was in another town while they were having a festival. I was holed up in my alburge not realizing what was going on a block away. During my evening walk all I saw was everyone packing up. While in Madrid for a few days waiting for my flight home I didn't realize a major football game was a short metro ride away and cheap tickets were available. It would have been something to see for this USA citizen. So yes it would be good to know if local festivals are taking place. To experience them or to avoid them.
Glad you got to see a football match in Madrid! Many of the cities have top levels teams. Football plays a huge role in Spanish culture. If anyone needs any advice just shout!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2014)
VDLP / C.Sanabres (2017)
Judy, I totally get it. I, too, looked for festivals and events along the way of my first Camino. Crossing oceans to make the pilgrimage is an investment in time, energy and funds. While my primary interest was to seek solace and comfort after the loss of someone very close and dear to me, I knew too that I wanted to open myself to experiencing as broad a journey that might be possible. I don't know if you have any level of command of the Spanish language, but some of my most treasured memories are of fleeting connections with locals as with other pilgrims. (I have a functional level of knowledge.)

There are brilliant shares in previous posts! Try, also, googling 'patron saint festivals in (city or village)', 'festas de san xaón gran queimada (city or village Galicia)', 'romeria (city or village)'. These were events I unknowingly and serendipitously stumbled upon during my caminos. I chose to extend my stays in the cities where these events took place with the mindset of, 'Why would I walk away from this?'

I acknowledge my gift of time - not everyone has this.
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
We rode the Camino de Santiago in 2013. It was to be a pilgrimage in its own right and we chose bikes because we've always cycled and feel comfortable on a saddle. Having said that, it was very demanding, strenuous, exhausting and everything else rolled into one. All along we 'felt' that we were being guided which was very comforting. And not through any forward planning, we ended up reaching Pamplona in the week of the San Fermin festival (the running of the bulls). It was in the afternoon and luckily no bulls are let loose in the streets after noon so we didn't have to worry about that. I was loath to go into Pamplona but was glad we did because the festival isn't only about stupid people being chased by bulls, as the entertainment was in full force, with people determined to enjoy themselves - the streets were heaving. While there, we tried to refind the route back onto the Camino and, as so often happened on the ride, we were approached by a woman who spoke perfect English and worked at the local Information Centre.

You couldn't have made it up. Spain has so much culture to lap up and as long as you just 'go with the flow' you can make the best of every situation. We - unintentionally - happened to arrive a day before the most holy day (July 24) when Santiago really comes into its own. Even though it wasn't a Holy Year (these, I believe are every 7 years) the festivities still attract a load of visitors and the atmosphere, again, was electric.
I agree with everybody else on here as I get the impression that if you go in July/August you are certain to come across some festivity or other.

We have a blown-up picture of a photo I took on our wall of a long walking path and each time I look at it I want to get out my backpack and get back on The Way. Now that we are both older (I'm 74 and hubby is 81) we don't cycle so much so are thinking of walking from SJPdP to Pamplona next year - just because we want to re-experience the feeling of "being home" once again.
 
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have found that looking at each pueblo's website brings you a list of fiestas. Should you be wandering lost around Galicia, John Barlow's Everything But the Squeal will bring you into the cosmos of pig-based fiestas, each one dedicated to a particularl saint and a particular part of the pig. It's not a book for vegetarians.

I am told that there is a classy version of Kalimotxo-- use ice and slices of lemon. I once mentioned this to a clerical acquaintance from Georgia (the US one) and she reported back that a reasonable facsimile can be produced with Dr Pepper and red wine. I have not tried it. Yet.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Somebody earlier said: [[These were events I unknowingly and serendipitously stumbled upon during my caminos. I chose to extend my stays in the cities where these events took place with the mindset of, 'Why would I walk away from this?']]

Yes to this.

Some years ago, I was continuing on from Santiago to Finisterre and started noticing smoky bonfires in everybody's backyards. Had no idea why this was happening all of a sudden. I also saw along the way women hanging wreaths of dried herbs on their doors, so I figured something local was up that I was totally ignorant about, so it made me curious.

I walked into a small village, checked into the albergue and went out to explore and found a tiny, very old and very beautiful, church that was locked up, as usual, so I was disappointed that I couldn't see the inside.

Then I came upon three elderly women and an elderly man, fanning a bonfire, so I asked them what was going on and they told me it was "Dia de Santiago"; the festival of St. James and, because I asked, they held me hostage. I corralled a couple other pilgrims to join us. The ladies told us this involved us jumping over the fire nine times (I think that was it), so we did as we were told. They lined up sardines on the grill and served them to us with bread and we were so grateful that they had invited us to be there.

(Later, when I went back to the albergue, the young hospitalero, who had grown up in the town, told me that he suspected that this festival, taking place around the time of the summer solstice, was likely much older than Christianity in Galicia).

Later that night, chatting with the ancianos around the fire, I told them I was sorry not to see the inside of their beautiful little church and they told me excitedly that the next morning was one of the few times a year that it would be open! They had no local priest, but one would be visiting for this special occasion to hold mass in their church. They said, though, that usually it was just a few old people attending mass there anymore.

So I went back to the albergue and informed the other pilgrims that we were to stay for mass in the morning. It would start at 10am, which was much later than many of them had hoped to get back on the trail... but I begged them to stay!

The next morning, the village elders were surprised and delighted to find their chapel, with the visiting priest, filled with pilgrims from the Camino de Santiago. It was very special and I doubt very much that anyone regretted changing their plans for this.

I guess there would have been advantages to knowing about this holiday so that we could understand its significance ahead of time, but I think in most ways it was much better just to stumble upon it and have the locals teach us what we needed to know.

A moment on the camino that I won't forget.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
Somebody earlier said: [[These were events I unknowingly and serendipitously stumbled upon during my caminos. I chose to extend my stays in the cities where these events took place with the mindset of, 'Why would I walk away from this?']]

Yes to this.

Some years ago, I was continuing on from Santiago to Finisterre and started noticing smoky bonfires in everybody's backyards. Had no idea why this was happening all of a sudden. I also saw along the way women hanging wreaths of dried herbs on their doors, so I figured something local was up that I was totally ignorant about, so it made me curious.

I walked into a small village, checked into the albergue and went out to explore and found a tiny, very old and very beautiful, church that was locked up, as usual, so I was disappointed that I couldn't see the inside.

Then I came upon three elderly women and an elderly man, fanning a bonfire, so I asked them what was going on and they told me it was "Dia de Santiago"; the festival of St. James and, because I asked, they held me hostage. I corralled a couple other pilgrims to join us. The ladies told us this involved us jumping over the fire nine times (I think that was it), so we did as we were told. They lined up sardines on the grill and served them to us with bread and we were so grateful that they had invited us to be there.

(Later, when I went back to the albergue, the young hospitalero, who had grown up in the town, told me that he suspected that this festival, taking place around the time of the summer solstice, was likely much older than Christianity in Galicia).

Later that night, chatting with the ancianos around the fire, I told them I was sorry not to see the inside of their beautiful little church and they told me excitedly that the next morning was one of the few times a year that it would be open! They had no local priest, but one would be visiting for this special occasion to hold mass in their church. They said, though, that usually it was just a few old people attending mass there anymore.

So I went back to the albergue and informed the other pilgrims that we were to stay for mass in the morning. It would start at 10am, which was much later than many of them had hoped to get back on the trail... but I begged them to stay!

The next morning, the village elders were surprised and delighted to find their chapel, with the visiting priest, filled with pilgrims from the Camino de Santiago. It was very special and I doubt very much that anyone regretted changing their plans for this.

I guess there would have been advantages to knowing about this holiday so that we could understand its significance ahead of time, but I think in most ways it was much better just to stumble upon it and have the locals teach us what we needed to know.

A moment on the camino that I won't forget.
A great example of the benefit of maintaining some flexibility in your Camino planning.

On a winter Camino I was invited to celebrate New Year with the hospitaleros, and participate in the traditional ‘midnight’ good-luck tradition. My Spanish was less advanced at the time, and the local accent quite strong. When the 12 grapes (uvas) were passed round - one to be eaten with every strike of the church clock I decided to keep my carefully-prepared dozen eggs (huevos) in my bag. I’d been anticipating a re-enactment of the egg-eating competition in ‘Cool Hand Luke’; and was greatly relieved.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Did San Fermin and the Tomato throwing one near Valencia this year. Google ‘Rioja wine fight’ and ‘Porto hammer festival’ for a couple of interesting ones!
My son and I were there for both San Fermin and the Tomatina festival in 2016. We passed through Pamplona during San Fermin on our Camino and then went to Valencia for the Tomatina right before our flight home the next day. The Tomatina was great for him (he had just turned 16) but I felt a bit old for it in my 50s. Had I been in my 20s.... The Rioja wine fight is still something that tempts, though.

I will add that walking through Pamplona during the San Fermin happened to put us in the right time to pass through Navarrete during the ceramics festival and Astorga during the festival of Romans and Astures.
 
Last edited:

Beebe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Many routes since 1995 to the present. Annually on the Camino Francés and Chemin du Puy.
Does anybody know of a good One-Stop place to find out what most of the festivals and special events might be taking place in 2023 on the Camino Frances?
Hi Judy!

I list them in my guidebook, Moon Camino de Santiago, 2nd edition, first in each place description in the book, and then in the chapter titled Essentials, on pp.537-540, where they are listed by month. I’m sure you can find a copy in your library or local bookshop or from a fellow pilgrim (or the link below)! There is a lot more cultural, seasonal, and more (such as culinary, historical, etc) information in the book for those interested in the local life, cultures, and traditions on the Caminos Francés, Finisterre, and Muxía.

¡Buen Camino!
Beebe

 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

Most read last week in this forum

I have booked stops for my first three days of the Camino Frances. Day 1 SJPDP- Gite Makila Day 2 Aubergue Borda Day 3 Hostal Burguete After that I might just wing it the rest of the way. What I...
I would love advice and recommendations from the forum. I am looking at pre-booking accommodation along the entire walk. Reasons: I am a stroller and don't want to have to rush to find a bed or...
Hi All, I’m Graham and I’m doing the Camino Frances from SJPDP starting second week of May 2023. (First timer) Just asking is a sleeping bag necessary, or would a liner be enough? I’m from...

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2023 Camino Guides
Top