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Better to enter Santiago on 24th or 25th?


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Camino(s) past & future
We're currently 27 days in and have the opportunity to be in Santiago on the 24th or the 25th. There are about 15 of us that have met up in St. Jean, walked ever since, and would like to finish together. Lodging is taken care off.

We are undecided as whether we should enter Santiago in the very early morning of the 25th>pilgrims office>Mass>lodging>celebrations.

Or enter the day of 24th>pilgrims office> lodging>celebrations. Then on the 25th>Mass>celebrations.

We would appreciate anyone with experiences advice, knowledge, or wisdom.

I was in Santiago two years ago on the 24th. There are many concerts, performances, and general merriment throughout the day and throughout the city. At night, the fireworks celebration in the Praza do Obradoiro is pretty astonishing. It starts at 11 pm or midnight, I don't remember. The 25th is the "holy" day of the celebration, and my understanding is that there is a big mass, with many dignitaries and much pomp. But it is a solemn day, with none of the celebration from the day before. I actually flew home on the 25th so I can't tell you from first hand experience, but this was on the recommendation of some Spanish friends, who said the 25th was mainly the religious feast.


Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
I think also the access to the mass on the 25th is restricted because of the many dignitaries @peregrina2000 mentioned. I would try to arrive early on the 24th. Buen Camino, SY
Hola - in the week leading up to the Feast there is a programme of concerts and street entertainment. You can find a street in the old town taken up by a full Orchestra!

In many ways the 24th is more full of spectacles. The town is abuzz with music, street dancers and other performers. In the evening the Cathedral will be packed for Vespers. The Cathedral choir sings music from the Codex. First come, first seated!
After Vespers people begin to congregate in the Plaza Obradoiro and it fills to capacity with the police eventually closing access. At 11.30 a magnificent sound and light show begins followed by the best fireworks display I've ever seen at 12 midnight.

Next morning from 10am the various armed forces and military bands assemble in the Plaza Obradoiro plus political and civic dignitaries. The king ♔ of Spain or his representative arrives to inspect the honour guard .

As this is happening the liturgical procession with the Archbishop, invited Bishop, canons, priests and others leaves by the side door of the cathedral onto the Plaza Platerías. They process slowly and meet the civic procession in the middle of the square. Together church and state mount the great stairs to enter the cathedral.

During the mass which follows the king or his representative address Saint James - in reality addresses the Nation. The Archbishop then replies.

This mass begins with the processions around 11am. The only time I've seen tickets issued for access is when the king himself was coming. Go early for a seat. The mass lasts the best part of two hours with the regular Pilgrims Mass following.


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