Search 62305 Camino Questions

Botafumeiro

Time of past OR future Camino
CP 2019, CF Sept 2022
We are currently about 3 to 4 days from Santiago. I know the botafumeiro is supposed to swing on Christ the King day (sunday) and I saw somewhere that in xaecobeo years it swings on Fridays but potentially only summer. We also had a large group tell us it is supposed to swing Saturday. I emailed the church trying to get some clarification but they only referred me to the website. I am trying to decide if we need to bus into Santiago to see the botafumeiro and then bus back and finish walking. IF anyone has any additional info, that would be great. If it does swing Sunday for Christ the King, which service? Is it swinging on Fridays for Holy Year? Thanks for any info.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
If it does swing Sunday for Christ the King, which service?

From the Cathedral's own website:
Domingo 20 de noviembre – Cristo Rey. A las 11:40 h. Procesión del cabildo y Misa estacional, presidida por el Arzobispo. Funcionamiento del Botafumeiro.
So it will swing on Sunday 20 November 2022 at 11:40 before / in the context of the pilgrim mass at noon.

Is it swinging on Fridays for Holy Year?
No, it doesn't. Whether it is a Friday or a Holy Year, it does not swing on days or times that are not marked in the Cathedral's liturgical calendar as "Botafumeiro days" unless this is sponsored / paid for by an organisation, a group, a family or an individual.

See website under tab Calendario Litúrgico 2022 - Año Jubilar Compostelano
 
Last edited:

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
We are currently about 3 to 4 days from Santiago. I know the botafumeiro is supposed to swing on Christ the King day (sunday) and I saw somewhere that in xaecobeo years it swings on Fridays but potentially only summer. We also had a large group tell us it is supposed to swing Saturday. I emailed the church trying to get some clarification but they only referred me to the website. I am trying to decide if we need to bus into Santiago to see the botafumeiro and then bus back and finish walking. IF anyone has any additional info, that would be great. If it does swing Sunday for Christ the King, which service? Is it swinging on Fridays for Holy Year? Thanks for any info.
If this is your first time entering SdC as a pilgrim, I’d suggest against the bus in/out idea simply to witness the botafumeiro. That happens throughout the year and while incredible, I found the experience of finally reaching the cathedral on foot to be far more moving. If you are not on a strict schedule, and can add a few extra miles per day to your schedule, perhaps you can arrive by Sunday Mass.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
I do understand the desire of many to watch the botafumeiro swing - but do wish they watched it as opposed to pointing their phone at it.

It’s not as big as you think and there are far better videos on YouTube than you’ll ever capture on a phone

But interrupt your walk to see it then complete your walk? Each to their own, but not for me.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Enjoy it if it happens, and yes watch it through your own eyes and not through your phone.. but please don't plan your camino around it. Easy for me to say, having already seen it, I know. Still..
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
But interrupt your walk to see it then complete your walk? Each to their own, but not for me.
Enjoy it if it happens... but please don't plan your camino around it.
I completely agree. Finish your Camino, linger on the plaza, go to mass at the Cathedral, and take it all in - with or without the botafumeiro. It's not that important in the larger scheme of things!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It was swinging this year at the Mass I attended, which was just on an ordinary Monday.

There are periods during the year when it is paid for pretty much every day either by the local business association or by some pilgrims, and I don't mean foot or other Camino pilgrims.

I fully agree with the points about mobile phones, the number of people at the Mass pointing their phones at it this year was absolutely ridiculous. And the Mass isn't about the Botafumeiro anyway.

And I agree, bus in and bus out just for that would be rather a bad idea.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
2009, 2014, 2017
We heard that the botafumeiro actually swings once a day since it's Holy Year. The unknown is at which mass it will swing on any given day - could be the morning mass at 9:30, the noon mass, or the evening mass at 7:30pm. Many pilgrims this year have seen it swing.

The hospitality industry used to pay for it to swing every Friday evening, but I think since Covid that practice has stopped.

But yes @Huffnmeyer I agree with you - it's a good thing to just walk your Camino, and when you get to Santiago if you see it, you see it. It is a pretty cool experience, but for some, in the end it can feel like a spectacle. Just visiting the Cathedral can be a sacred moment. And then it's a bonus if you see the botafumeiro! :)
 
Last edited:
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Ordinarily, Fridays at Pilgrim Mass the Botafumeiro used to be paid by the Commerce in the city to swing.
 

Piparoo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2020
I completely agree with the earlier comments. The botafumeiro is neat to see but we didn't find it essential. Visiting the relics in quiet contemplation and taking confession in the cathedral (if you wish) were really transformative for us.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Ordinarily, Fridays at Pilgrim Mass the Botafumeiro used to be paid by the Commerce in the city to swing.
Regular swinging of the Botafumeiro on Friday evenings at 19:30 stopped already six years ago.

It had been due to a contract between the City Council of Santiago, the Cathedral, the Chamber of Commerce and the Hospitality Association of Santiago, see here or many other Galician news sources. As far as I remember, the hospitality sector did not want to renew it (they did not want to continue to pay for it).
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 via Camino Frances
I do understand the desire of many to watch the botafumeiro swing - but do wish they watched it as opposed to pointing their phone at it.

It’s not as big as you think and there are far better videos on YouTube than you’ll ever capture on a phone

But interrupt your walk to see it then complete your walk? Each to their own, but not for me.
AMEN
 

AidaYYC

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances
I completely agree. Finish your Camino, linger on the plaza, go to mass at the Cathedral, and take it all in - with or without the botafumeiro. It's not that important in the larger scheme of things!
I did exactly that, I completed my Camino by walking up to Cathedral and that was a very moving experience. Later in the evening I attended the evening mass, next day midday mass and 5 days later on my return to Santiago again evening mass and did not see the butafumeiro fly; yet my friend who arrived two days later saw it. What can I say other than she is well off and might have paid to witness it. In my case, it was not meant to be.
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Want to give back to the Camino? Help clean it up with us this May.

beliperegrina

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Bonn-Logroño 2013-2019
2021 Logroño-León
According to my planning I thought that I arrived on a Sunday and might have the chance to see the botafumeiro swing. Actually I arrived on a Wednesday and didn't even enter the Cathedral before the next day in the morning. I was so surprised and happy that I saw the botafumeiro swing unexpectedly. So, you never know.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 via Camino Frances
I had no idea what the botafumeiro was and to my absolute delight saw it first hand on Thursday, November 3 at the mid-day mass.

I like to break the rules so I feel a little bit hypocritical about reporting that the cell phone recordings are completely out of hand. The rule breaking part is that it is announced in a few different languages by some authority to please not record it, and not just once - it's announced until the last straggler pops in so as not to feign ignorance. I felt especially bound to the no-phone rule after it was also announced that if you were not a pilgrim then you had to bounce; this mass is for pilgrims only. I felt all proud of us convening as one's with a shared experience, holding space for one another our common goal achieved. I was all aglow, smiling at strangers, wishing peace for all...until the fellas in the beautiful robes gathered at the huge rope. POOF our common achievement flew right out the window and the serenity that was moments ago so integrally felt was gone in a tech-happy novice videographers smoke.

Still, I'm a glass half full kinda gal so I breathed deep, looked up, I may have even shed a tear or two - it was all so moving.
 

JimG59

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago de Compostela (2022)
I find the part where it was said “if you were not a pilgrim then you had to bounce” unbelievable.

You must have misinterpreted the announcer. Some cathedral tours were still taking place 30 mins before the mass I attended and the announcer stated that those not attending the mass should exit the cathedral.

Although the 12:00 is a Pilgrims Mass, no one who wanted to attend would ever be told to leave a mass. I was at two 12:00 masses in late October and it appeared that pilgrims attending were in the minority.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 via Camino Frances
I find the part where it was said “if you were not a pilgrim then you had to bounce” unbelievable.

You must have misinterpreted the announcer. Some cathedral tours were still taking place 30 mins before the mass I attended and the announcer stated that those not attending the mass should exit the cathedral.

Although the 12:00 is a Pilgrims Mass, no one who wanted to attend would ever be told to leave a mass. I was at two 12:00 masses in late October and it appeared that pilgrims attending were in the minority.
Sure I could be wrong but I heard it with my lying ears. Enforced? I know for certain it wasn't because I sat next to a lovely older woman who hadn't seen a pair of hiking boots in a number of years.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Many places make announcements for tourists to leave before Mass. This isn't because people are unwelcome. It is because some people don't know how to behave during a service.
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Sure I could be wrong but I heard it with my lying ears
You misunderstood the announcement.

A member of the staff announces some 30 minutes or 15 minutes before the start of mass that visitors must leave now and people must stop walking around and only those should stay who intend to attend mass.

This announcement is usually made in Spanish and in English. I am happy to provide a transcript from one of the next live broadcasts :cool: but you can check for yourself (see http://catedraldesantiago.es/retransmision-en-directo/).

Also, the mass is not "for pilgrims only" and most certainly not "for foot pilgrims only". It is for everyone who wishes to attend.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Planned Camino for early November 2022
We are currently about 3 to 4 days from Santiago. I know the botafumeiro is supposed to swing on Christ the King day (sunday) and I saw somewhere that in xaecobeo years it swings on Fridays but potentially only summer. We also had a large group tell us it is supposed to swing Saturday. I emailed the church trying to get some clarification but they only referred me to the website. I am trying to decide if we need to bus into Santiago to see the botafumeiro and then bus back and finish walking. IF anyone has any additional info, that would be great. If it does swing Sunday for Christ the King, which service? Is it swinging on Fridays for Holy Year? Thanks for any info.
We were at the Pilgrim Mass on Monday 14th November at 12 o’clock and it was swinging then. Easy for me to say but I would finish walking rather than bus in and out. Buen Camino
 

Phil&Barb

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 2022
We are currently about 3 to 4 days from Santiago. I know the botafumeiro is supposed to swing on Christ the King day (sunday) and I saw somewhere that in xaecobeo years it swings on Fridays but potentially only summer. We also had a large group tell us it is supposed to swing Saturday. I emailed the church trying to get some clarification but they only referred me to the website. I am trying to decide if we need to bus into Santiago to see the botafumeiro and then bus back and finish walking. IF anyone has any additional info, that would be great. If it does swing Sunday for Christ the King, which service? Is it swinging on Fridays for Holy Year? Thanks for any info.
We arrived in Santiago on a Wednesday early last month and went to the cathedral where my wife asked one of the security people when the botafumeiro might be swinging. He indicated that it was to swing the following morning at the 9:30 mass. We arrived before 9 AM and got seats practically in the front pew. Indeed the botafueiro did swing at the end of the mass and experiencing it was truly the capstone of our pilgrimage. Watching it raise and be swung accompanied by the beautiful tenor voice of the cantor brought goosebumps and tears, even more so than arriving in the cathedral square.

A couple of days later we were talking with another pilgrim and he told us that he had watched it swing Friday morning at mass; therefore, two days in a row. We heard a couple of stories about when the botafumeiro swings, one is that because it is a jubilee year it swings most days, and the other was that patrons can pay to have it swing. I cannot confirm either of these stories. I agree with others that you should not interrupt your pilgrimage to take a bus to Santiago and back, but hopefully you have planned some extra days in Santiago to be able to witness such a memorable event.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 via Camino Frances
You misunderstood the announcement.

A member of the staff announces some 30 minutes or 15 minutes before the start of mass that visitors must leave now and people must stop walking around and only those should stay who intend to attend mass.

This announcement is usually made in Spanish and in English. I am happy to provide a transcript from one of the next live broadcasts :cool: but you can check for yourself (see http://catedraldesantiago.es/retransmision-en-directo/).

Also, the mass is not "for pilgrims only" and most certainly not "for foot pilgrims only". It is for everyone who wishes to attend.
Thank you, my bad.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
yet my friend who arrived two days later saw it. What can I say other than she is well off and might have paid to witness it.
One doesn't pay to witness it, so much as one can pay to have it swung, in which case everyone who attends the mass can see it. This must be arranged in advance with the Pilgrim Office, and costs something around €450, according to this thread on the topic.
 

judydaisy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria - Santiago 2004
Roncesvalles - Estella 2009
Camino Ingles - 2012
Tui - Santiago - 2014
Regular swinging of the Botafumeiro on Friday evenings at 19:30 stopped already six years ago.

It had been due to a contract between the City Council of Santiago, the Cathedral, the Chamber of Commerce and the Hospitality Association of Santiago, see here or many other Galician news sources. As far as I remember, the hospitality sector did not want to renew it (they did not want to continue to pay for it).
Maybe I was just lucky but I saw it swing this year in September on both a Friday (7.30. Mass) and the Sunday Mass. Yes, I’ve seen it each time I’ve been in Santiago. I’ve not planned for it but have seen it. I agree re: being totally absorbed by the moment. The first time I saw it I was there will all the rest but now… there is so much to ponder on at that moment that I now leave my camera/phone in my hotel room and just enjoy the moment.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Maybe I was just lucky but I saw it swing this year in September on both a Friday (7.30. Mass) and the Sunday Mass
September and November - the month we are in now - are not comparable. It is much more likely that the swinging of the Botafumeiro gets paid for / is offered as a tribute (ofrenda) to the Apostle in September than in November because there are many more pilgrims, including parish groups and other groups of pilgrims, who arrive towards the weekend in September.

It did not swing today, November 18, a Friday evening, at the 7:30 pm mass.

Rounded number of pilgrims registered on Thursdays and Fridays during this year (Thu and Fri are peak days for arrivals in Santiago):
4,000 --- 1-2 Sep​
5,300 --- 8-9 Sep​
4,500 --- 15-16 Sep​
5,800 --- 22-23 Sep​
5,300 --- 29-30 Sep​
1,200 --- 3-4 Nov​
900 --- 10-11 Nov​
800 --- 17-18 Nov​
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
a lovely older woman who hadn't seen a pair of hiking boots in a number of years
I appears that there may have been plenty of them at today's Misa del Peregrino when I followed the live broadcast at noon. At the beginning, the priest, a member of the Cathedral's Chapter, welcomed the congregation by saying somos todos pregrinos - we all are pilgrims before the Apostle. Then the Archbishop, too, welcomed all who had come by foot or any other way.

Two groups were explicitly welcomed: members of a breast cancer association from Alicante and their priest and friends and family members, and members of a group from a Spanish parish. A representative of each group came forward to the altar space to give a short speech addressed to the Apostle. I did not catch everything but heard the parish group person saying something like we did not walk much (only 25 km perhaps?) and then speaking about faith and inner camino.

The woman wore a pink T-shirt and I guess so did the other members of her group; the man from the parish group wore a white scarf around his neck in a triangular fashion and many others in the pews were similarly dressed. I saw groups with such identifying scarves repeatedly this year. A somewhat different world perhaps. No focus on hiking boots or sandals and kilometres walked on foot.

We also had a large group tell us it is supposed to swing Saturday
I nearly forgot: The Botafumeiro did swing at mass at noon on this Saturday in November. My guess but it's only a guess is that it was sponsored either by both or by one of the two groups described above.
 
Last edited:

Most read last week in this forum

Hi all, with much accommodation options i Santiago, what are some personal favourites please. I prefer private room, central to cathedral, mid cost for about 3 nights in May. Any suggestions 🙂
I came across this story this morning, and thought it might be of general interest...
This Spanish article describes/ illustrates the recent completion of a type of "open heart surgery" on wooden work within the cathedral. The restoration of the canopy above the statue of...

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

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