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Botafumeiro

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#1
Does anyone know how to get information in advance about when the Botafumeiro will be swinging in the Santiago Cathedral? I attended five Pilgrim Masses before it finally was swung. There is a website with a camera in the lateral nave. I have watched the swinging several times, but it seems to be random -- sometimes Monday, sometimes Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, Thursday , Friday or Saturday. Never on Sunday so far. Who know for sure when it will be used????
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
It could be random outside of Holy days because it is swung when tour groups pay for it.
Perhaps you could ask the pilgrim's office?
peregrinos@archicompostela.org
 

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#7
Hi: I was told at dinner by a German peregrino that he and his group had pooled funds to get a sum of 240 euros; this amount being sufficient to fund the lighting of the botafumeiro on the next day. He said that I should be there for the noon mass (on a Tuesday). I couldn't arrive in Santiago in time for the Tuesday mass, but was there for the Wednesday mass. Again, the botafumeiro was lit, and the mass was a surprisingly emotional experience - the "singing nun" met all of my expectations. In this second instance, I was told that a group of Polish pilgrims had funded the lighting of the botafumeiro. This could all be urban myth, but my German friend seemed to be serious and have first-hand knowledge of the events. As a postscript to some of the comments about germans and numerous other nationalities - to the point where grafitti are being used on the trail to perpetuate some very primitive nationalistic hatreds - I found that the Germans were among the kindest and most considerate people I met. I am a bit of an innocent - but I was fortunate enough to never meet an unpleasant person during my five weeks on the trail. Occasionally inconsiderate (high speed cyclists on the trails, early morning lights-on, etc.) - but never unpleasant or unwilling to help or give advice if it was requested. Gerry.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#8
I just want to add my support to Gerry's comment - outside of trivial issues such as lights in the a.m., really it was just amazing how helpful everyone was. Even when not so helpful, folks were never really indifferent -they would usually offer a tip or two for whatever it was we needed. In my travels all over the world I have never encountered people who were as sensitive to the needs of others. Leaving your own needs and wants behind and opening yourself up to others... It is the true spirit of the Camino, after all, isn't it.

I am looking forward to my 3rd Camino this spring, and despite much of the evidence to the contrary, I do have faith in peregrinos. And in the spirit of the Camino. This is why I'm going back!

Peace.

lynne
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#9
I did stop by the pilgrims office yesterday at about 10.30 and there was a line down the stairs to get the compostela. About a 15 minute wait I would think.

Anyway, I asked them about "what time the botafumeiro" swings. And they said that it only swings on religious holidays and when groups have reserved (and paid) for it.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#10
The Botafumeiro has to be booked at least two days in advance. Eight people are needed to swing it and everything has to be arranged beforehand.
It costs 240 euros which may be paid by wire transfer or on the day before the mass at the Sacristy in the Cathedral. D. Jenaro Cebrián Franco, the Canon Delegate of Pilgrimages, is the person in charge of the Botafumeiro. Pilgrims or groups may contact him by e-mail : peregrinos@archicompostela.org or by fax 0034 981563924.
If you require a receipt it can be obtained the same day of the Mass at the Sacristy.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#11
Thank you, Ivar, for getting the information. You are a diligent moderator indeed. I have monitored the Botafumeiro on its webcam for a few weeks, and there did not seem to be a regular pattern for when it was going to swing. The 240 Euro payment certainly explains it! I have read a lot of Camino information, and that never came up before. Maybe the information has been circulated only to tour guides and groups.

That brings up the interesting logistical question of whether individual pilgrims could take up a collection daily to see the Botafumeiro. I attended five or six masses at the Santiago Cathedral before I saw it in motion. I would have been happy to contribute on my arrival day for the certainty of seeing it. Since I was at the Pilgrim Office at about 11 a.m., I doubt that had I made a contribution, it would have been in time to schedule a swinging for that day. Collecting on the internet or at a point down the path would enable pilgrims to support a swinging on their arrival day, maybe at Arco or Arzua. Just a thought.

Anyway, thanks again.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#13
The botafumeiro just finished swinging. The main nave and lateral nave webcams have been working again for a few weeks, so you can watch for the botafumeiro each day at about 0645 EDT. Easter Monday may be one of the "free" swingings each year. Most of the time some group will have paid the 240 Euro for the swinging.
 

Canuck

Veteran Member
#14
Not only do you have to fork out 240 Euros, you also have to be a catholic to reserve it.
Other faiths can only hope...and watch.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#17
Aside from the flying pot of flames and smoke, I understand the cathedral also offers worship, and sacraments. Stuff like that. For free, even!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#19
I see a singing nun at the Pilgrim's Mass. Has the old one returned, or is there a new one?

The botafumeiro swung yesterday and today.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#21
This morning the tiraboleiros lowered the botafumeiro, suspended it from a shoulder height carrier, detached it from its rope, and carried it away.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#22
The guys who attend to the Botafumeiro are called tiraboleiros - they aren't monks or priests, rather they are porters and ushers in the cathedral. Wjhat they are wearing is their uniform and not a religious habit.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#23
A dozen priests in red, one in white, "suits" in the front row, and a swing of the botafumeiro today. If they took it somewhere, it is back.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#24
They have just untied the botafumeiro from its rope and walked away with it. Maybe it is headed for a procession?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#25
Falcon

I've been meaning to ask you this for ages - do you have the webcam view of the botafumeiro on your workplace computer all the time, just to keep an eye on it, or do you check in a certain times of the day?

And are you an astronomer?

And I came across the following in Edwin Mullins' book, The Pilgrimage to Santiago, which I am really enjoying reading,

[Pilgrims] proceeded by way of Lunel and Montpelier to St-Guilhem-le-Desert, where they could venerate a fragment of the True Cross presented to Charlemagne, as well as the body of St Guilhem himself...If they arrived in time for Maundy Thursday then they took part in a procession through the streets of the village using snail-shells as oil lamps...(page 106)
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#26
falcon269 said:
They have just untied the botafumeiro from its rope and walked away with it. Maybe it is headed for a procession?
They take it outside hanging on a pole to put out the charcoal inside! When they are leaving it up for the next day they just take out the charcoal.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#27
It looks like they are filming the botafumeiro this morning; perhaps the Sheen movie. The priests are gone; cameramen are sitting on the altar; the crowds in the pews seem quite disciplined. There is no smoke, so maybe they add it digitally later!

At the end, they carried the botafumeiro away, and hoisted the substitute "pineapple." There is one priest (or an actor) on the altar.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#28
falcon269 said:
It looks like they are filming the botafumeiro this morning; perhaps the Sheen movie. The priests are gone; cameramen are sitting on the altar; the crowds in the pews seem quite disciplined. There is no smoke, so maybe they add it digitally later!

At the end, they carried the botafumeiro away, and hoisted the substitute "pineapple." There is one priest (or an actor) on the altar.

La Voz de Galicia

Yes, for the first time in over 40 years they have opened the cathedral up for a film crew.

More in today's El Correo Gallego today and in La Voz de Galicia.
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#29
He looks too clean & shiny! :lol: But I'm glad they've almost finished filming their location shots. I can't wait to see the movie now! :)

Kelly
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#30
...he said in the paper that he would like to come back to walk it one day (indicating that he did not feel like he did walk it this time). I am looking forward for this movie as well.

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#31
I was there for the filming, as an extra in the audience.
It was not rigged, it was quite real.
They swung it twice... once with only priests, and once with Emilio Estevez dressed as a priest.
Pretty spectacular.

Also... they removed the ropes around the Tree of Jessee long enough for Martin (and anyone who was quick enough) to put their fingers in the fingerholds... and to bang their heads one last time. Seems the church has decided this "pagan practice" will stop... and next year, you will no longer be able to hug Santiago, if a certain hospitalero was correct in his information.
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#32
Where were you sitting? I want to be able to spot you when watching the movie.

Sorry to hear we will not be able to hug Jimmy next year. Did they give any reason why?

Kelly
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#33
Having walked the CF in May of this year we spent a few days in Santiago with our partners and on Saturday, our final day, we went to see the Cathedral Museum and offices. There is an unusual cloister/courtyard on one of the 2nd or 3rd floors and on inner the wall of that space I came across a large metal saucer with some charcoal burning in it, some fresh charcoal laying to one side and on the other side a large tongs which seemed to be used to feed the fire. The saucer was sitting on a cracked and heat blackened slab so it was obvious that this was a habitual activity. I'm a bit of a pyromaniac and, as no one was in attendance, I placed one or two additional pieces of charcoal on the fire in saucer and continued on my tour :oops: . Five minutes later unbeknownst to me Stephen did exactly the same thing :oops: . However having put the last 2 pieces of charcoal on the fire he also took a photograph
An hour or so later we met a fellow pilgrim who told us to hurry into the Cathedral as the Botafumeiro was going to be swung at the pilgrims mass. Watching the sparks fly out of the Botafumeiro as it swooped up and down the transepts I realised what that saucer of smoldering charcoal had been destined for and that we had some small part in wafting that 'breath of heaven' through the Cathedral. If there was any breach of protocol, however inadvertent, Stephen claims that as an ex (very) alter boy he is less culpable than I but I told him Santiago would be much more lenient towards a pilgrim.
 

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sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#34
I have been searching for info on when I will be able to see the botafumeiro swinging, I was directed here, which was interesting, as I've seen it swing twice and both times on a Sunday so I thought that was normal! Didn't realise someone had paid and I was just lucky :D
However according to santiagoturismo.com/faqs during the Holy Year it is swung at every pilgrim mass, maybe we will all get lucky this year :D
It is an impressive sight and I'd really like to see it as a pilgrim not just a tourist.
Here's hoping :!:
Sue
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#36
The botafumeiro has been swinging on a lot of days, but I do not think it swings at every noon and 6 p.m. pilgrim's mass. For example, it did not swing today at noon.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#37
Falcon - quite right. At this time of the year in the Holy Year it still has to be hired and the price has gone up to 300 euros. I am told that later in the year in the busy months it will fly at the 12 noon Mass.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#38
Thanks to you guys.
I'd been aiming to gear my arrival in Santiago around the botafumeiro! Now I think I'll just relax, go with the flow and count myself lucky if I get there at all.
After all there's always a webcam :)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#39
It seems to be swinging every day, so maybe it will throughout the busy season. The crowd today was huge both on the altar and in the pews.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#40
If you check the web-cam in the cathedral and, even if a mass is not going on, but see the botafumeiro hanging, you can be almost sure that it will swing at the next Pilgrim' mass. Yes, today the cathedral was packed. I haven't seen it so crowded for a long time. Anne
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#41
If the "pineapple" is hanging, it will not be swinging, but if the Botafumeiro is hanging, it used to mean only that it "might" swing. Sometimes it has been stored there for weeks without swinging. This jubilee year, it seems to be swinging every day. That might only mean that someone is paying every day, but it might mean they are going to swing it every day at the Pilgrim's noon mass.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#42
Woverine, in the movie, the best place to see us is in the scene where the 3 pilgrims are walking up to the Cathedral.Our group is to their right, acting like we just arrived. They walk right past us.

In the Cathedral, we are in the left alcove about 5 rows back.

I have GREAT video of the botafumeiro swinging.

Also... in the movie, watch carefully because one of the priests is Emilio Estevez in the swinging scene. ::whispering::
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#44
Falcon - it is definitely the intention to fly the Botafumeiro at the Pilgrims' Mass every day (in the busy season) in the Holy year - I'm just surprised it has started this early. It was on again this evening with the Archbishop presiding, to a full Cathedral.
 

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