• This section is a collection of FAQs on the Camino. No new questions can be posted here, but questions that are asked often will be move here by a moderator.
  • Missing the daily forum e-mail? Subscribe again.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Botafumeiro

GunnarW

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011), Del Salvador (2013), every year a part starting from the border of NL/B close to Antwerpen
#1
The climax of the camino must be when the Botafumeiro is swinging during the church service. I read that it will swing on a limited number of days and also when 300€ is paid. By reading many reports it seems that the Botafumeiro also swings on (ir)regulary base.
How much chance do you have during a service that the Botafumeiro will swing? Can you trigger a while in advance if it will swing?
 

Advertisment

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#2
Hola - The Botafumeiro is used for its liturgical purpose (incense at Mass) on the major feasts celebrated in the Cathedral such as Easter, the Feast of St James etc. At the Pilgrims' Mass and other times it is a spectacle and hence is is used at the end of the Mass. There if no way of knowing when it will be used outside of its liturgical use - this happens when groups of pilgrims pay for the 8 workers who prepare it, swing it and remove it afterwards.

Genrally speaking if you are in the cathedral and the Botafumeiro is in its position it will be used at the next Mass or soon after.

I hope this answers your question.

John
 

GunnarW

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011), Del Salvador (2013), every year a part starting from the border of NL/B close to Antwerpen
#5
Well the way that the botafumeiro is set before a mass is not a guarantee that it will swing.
Saturday 8/10/2011. At 10:00 I saw the botafumeiro set, so I took the best place to have it on video. At the left side of the church (altar), first row, right. After 2 hours waiting, just before the non starts warming up the people with the songs that will be sung, they quickly removed the botafumeiro. And it didn t come back, what a sad feeling I had after 3 hours I sat on the same bench. :(
But:
During my visit in the center, I entered the cathedral again at 17:00. They were just setting the botafumeiro. I asked when the next mass was. At 18:00
I had a nice place at the left side.
And YES: around 19:00. the climax of the camino: the botafumeiro in full action. :D :D :D

Sunday 9/10/2011. I entered the cathedral at 11:00 hoping to meet peregrinos. I saw the botafumeiro set. And yes, again a botafumeiro around 13:00. :D :D :D
 

Advertisment

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#8
Everytime I go in the cathedral, a botafumeiro is getting ready to swing. It is my own little milagro.

Twice, in 1499, and 1622 it has crashed into the crowd.
 

Sue M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Burgos(2012)Leon-Santiago(2013)Sarria- Santiago(Sept 2013),Frances (coach,2013),Le Puy-Conques(May 2014), parish pilgrimage organised for June 2015.
#9
I've been inspiring myself by looking at video clips of the Botafumeiro on YouTube.
Does anyone know the name and composer of the music that is played and sung whuile it's being swung?
 

Sue M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Burgos(2012)Leon-Santiago(2013)Sarria- Santiago(Sept 2013),Frances (coach,2013),Le Puy-Conques(May 2014), parish pilgrimage organised for June 2015.
#12
Thanks for the replies. I sing in a church choir and will try to get hold of a copy of the music.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances fall 2014 or 2015
#13
I have heard conflicting information about the Botafumeiro.Do you have to pay the monks in order for them to perform it during the Pilgrims Mass?How much does it cost?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#14
Someone has to pay. At last report it was 300E and must be arranged about a week in advance. It swings for free only
The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical purposes (in the same way as a priest would normally incense the altar) on the following Feast Days:

The Epiphany of the Lord – 6 January
Easter Sunday
The Ascension of the Lord
The Apparition of the Apostle – 23 May
Pentecost Sunday
The Martyrdom of Saint James – 25 July
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin – 15 August
All Saints – 1 November
Christ the King
Immaculate Conception – 8 December
Birth of Jesus – 25 December
Transfer of the body of the Apostle – 30 December
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#15
Sue M said:
Thanks for the replies. I sing in a church choir and will try to get hold of a copy of the music.
Sue - if you want a copy of the score e mail me and I'll see what I can do.

falcon269 said:
Someone has to pay. At last report it was 300E and must be arranged about a week in advance. It swings for free only
The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical purposes (in the same way as a priest would normally incense the altar) on the following Feast Days:

The Epiphany of the Lord – 6 January
Easter Sunday
The Ascension of the Lord
The Apparition of the Apostle – 23 May
Pentecost Sunday
The Martyrdom of Saint James – 25 July
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin – 15 August
All Saints – 1 November
Christ the King
Immaculate Conception – 8 December
Birth of Jesus – 25 December
Transfer of the body of the Apostle – 30 December
Yes, these are the major feasts when the Botafumeiro is provided by the cathedral and it is used at the beginning of the mass (often 30 mins before the hour) with a procession of relics accompanied by medieval instruments - the chirimios. The Botafumeiro is also used on many other occasions when it does not have to be paid for by outside groups - for example visiting dignitaries and so on.

The people in red robes who operate the Botafumeiro are called the Tiraboleiros. It takes 8 of them to perform the task. They are paid employees of the cathedral and are not monks or priests. They have to be paid for each session of the Botafumeiro hence the charge.

In the wake of the theft medieval book the Codex Calixtinus the former Finance Director of one of Spains largest telecommunications companies has been appointed Administrator of the cathedral. He has recently revised the charges for the Botafumeiro:

For religious groups from parishes and those from schools, colleges and higher learning institutes no change: 300 euros
For groups of tourists of less than 50 people - 800 euros
For groups of tourists above 50 - 800 euros + 15 euros per person over 50
For groups from a conference, cruise ship etc - 1500 euros
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#16
I recently completed my camino from SJPP and was lucky enough to witness the botafumeiro in action three times. I am not religious but was enraptured by the pilgrims' mass and the music that accompanied the botafumeiro. Using the information given in this thread I have tried to find a recording of the 'hymn to the Apostle', without success. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

If it is of interest to anyone, a blog of my camino walked with my daughter can be read at magwood.wordpress.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances fall 2014 or 2015
#17
I have since learned that as well as holy days, this year the Botafumiero will swing every Friday evening before the service, around 7:30, and the Cathedral doesn't charge the public for this one, either.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
#18
My husband and I just returned from journey on Tuesday. We started our Camino in Ponferrada and after ten days we looked forward to getting to the prize, Santiago. We were aware the Botafumeiro did not swing every day in the cathedral but were very surprised to find out it doesn't swing unless a group makes a donation towards the swinging! We learned this from one of the yellow vested ushers keeping order amongst the pilgrims. It was an amazing sight to see. It was like the cherry on top of our Camino experience sunday.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#20
The botafumeiro was swung at the 7:30 pm mass today. It can swing anytime at any mass, not just the pilgrim's mass.
 

Tumbleweed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#21
I hope to arrive in Santiago on Friday October 4, so I can see this awesome sight. 31 days to walk from SJPdP, is it possible. Yes, especially on those days when I have wings. :)
 

CanPete

Northern Route Pelgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Past : Northern route, Primitivo
Future : Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Portuguese routes
#22
Can't help but wonder if they asked the pope to pay . . . ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future Camino de Santiago (April 2014)
#24
I will be attending the mass on June 8th and 9th 2014 and since I consider witnessing this to be the jewel in the crown of my camino I may arrange the 300 euro donation with other pilgrims.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#25
Latest news: The Botafumeiro will swing every Friday evening at the 7.30 mass as has been said.

Botafumeiro bookings are piling in for the next year - From May to October 2014 it will swing very regularly (but not 100% - yet!) at the Sunday morning 10am mass - as well as frequently at the 12 noon Pilgrims mass.

I hope this helps.

John
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#26
Is there a way to know when it is going to swing in advance? We will likely be in Santiago between June 18-21, 2014 and would like to know beforehand when it was to swing so that we could plan accordingly. We want to go to Finisterre one day and would rearrange our schedules accordingly. Last Camino, I was saddened to have arrived and it not be used. We went to 4 masses till we saw it.
I am not complaining about going to mass...
Also, how do you contact the church to arrange to have it swung? I assume you can't show up an hour before with 300 Euros and expect it. What is the process?
Rambler
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#28
Is there a way to know when it is going to swing in advance? We will likely be in Santiago between June 18-21, 2014 and would like to know beforehand when it was to swing so that we could plan accordingly. We want to go to Finisterre one day and would rearrange our schedules accordingly. Last Camino, I was saddened to have arrived and it not be used. We went to 4 masses till we saw it.
I am not complaining about going to mass...
Also, how do you contact the church to arrange to have it swung? I assume you can't show up an hour before with 300 Euros and expect it. What is the process?
Rambler
Apart from the information I gave earlier there is no way of knowing in advance that the Botafumeiro will be used.

Since you will likely be in Santiago on Friday 20th June you can see it that evening.

The basic fee for the Botafumeiro for pilgrims, pilgrim groups and church groups is now 350€ .

The booking has to be made in advance and the fee transferred to the cathedral bank account before the date of the reservation.

For further information email the Pilgrims' Office botafumeiro@catedraldesantiago.es or telephone +34 981 56 88 46.

I hope this helps

John
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#32
The Botafumeiro is used every Friday at the 7.30 mass.

There are also bookings for most of the Sunday Masses at 10 and 12 noon

Dozens of bookings have been made for other days of the week throughout the year - you will be unlucky not to see it

Every day a notice is posted on the noticeboard at the Pilgrims' Office advising at which mass the Botafumeiro will be used.
 

SRutledge

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk in 2018
#34
Last Post here is from 2015. And I wondered if there was any new information. It appears that the botafumeirocanbe counted upon on Sundays, and Friday evenings. And on special religious dates. Other than that, it’s strictly by chance that you might see it at the pilgrims mess. Is that right? And is the schedule still posted in the pilgrim office? Thank you in advance.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#35
Except for the dates posted on the Cathedral website, it does not swing unless someone has paid for it. It never flew reliably on Sunday, and the Friday evening use has not been renewed by the commercial consortium that paid for it last year. It will be hit or miss!!
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15 & 16 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo (Sept.)
#36
It was at the end of fourth Camino that we finally saw the Botafumeiro swing. May not see this year when we arrive in late September as I understand renovations inside the cathedral may prevent it or the pilgrim service may be held at another church 20170421_065053.jpg
 
Last edited:

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#37
May not see this year when we arrive in late September as I understand renovations inside the cathedral may prevent it or the pilgrim service may be held at another church
Mass is still being held, and the botafumeiro still swings. There are scaffolds behind the altar and nets in places, but renovations will not be interrupting summer (I think).:)
 

SRutledge

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk in 2018
#38
Mass is still being held, and the botafumeiro still swings. There are scaffolds behind the altar and nets in places, but renovations will not be interrupting summer (I think).:)
es the renovations originally planned for summer are postponed til fall in view of the high season
 

SRutledge

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk in 2018
#39
Except for the dates posted on the Cathedral website, it does not swing unless someone has paid for it. It never flew reliably on Sunday, and the Friday evening use has not been renewed by the commercial consortium that paid for it last year. It will be hit or miss!!
Yes thats the impression i have. Friends tell me they saw it, on days other than Fri. and Sun. So maybe i'll get lucky and a generous sponsor will have arranged for it.
 


Advertisement

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 4 1.0%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 18 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 68 16.8%
  • May

    Votes: 108 26.7%
  • June

    Votes: 31 7.7%
  • July

    Votes: 10 2.5%
  • August

    Votes: 5 1.2%
  • September

    Votes: 105 25.9%
  • October

    Votes: 45 11.1%
  • November

    Votes: 5 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.7%