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Christmas in Santiago

Hey hey, happy new year to all!

I was wondering - I'm doing the camino november/december next year right after I finish school and there's a chance I'll be in or around Santiago at Christmas. What are the practicalities about that? Will I be able to find accommodation? Will stuff be open? Should I book ahead?

Has anyone ever arrived in Santiago on Christmas Eve? I think it would be wonderful. Must be pretty festive!

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Posted by Rosina on the St James forum:

In the Spanish-speaking countries Christmas Eve is called "Nochebuena" (night of goodness, sort-of) and midnight mass is called "Misa de Gallo" (Mass of the rooster), so called because that night is the only night during the year when country roosters crow at midnight. (Mangers, by the way, are called Belens in Spain and Nacimientos or Presepios in the other Spanish-speaking countries.... they are as plentiful in those countries as Christmas trees are in the U.S., some of the mangers are extremely elaborate, and the pieces are passed as family heirlooms from generation to generation.
The Cathedral of Santiago just published the information that a candle-light procession in and around the Cathedral will take place before the "Misa de Gallo", and that the Mass will be celebrated with the Cathedral's full organ complement and the Santiago Choir.
On Christmas day there will be another procession at 11:00 a.m. with an extended exhibition of the Botafumeiro, followed by another solemn Mass with the ancient-instruments orchestra of Santiago. The Archbishop will preside in both Masses, accompanied by the full contingent of the Cathedral.
Those lucky enough to be on Santiago at the time shouldn't miss the celebrations, particularly since representatives of many Friends of the Camino Associations and Confraternities will be there. Tables are set in the three squares for those attending the "Misa de Gallo" with free hot chocolate,"torrijas" and "churros".
Mmh, that sounds wonderful. Just right for a seventeen year old away from her family at Christmas for the first time. Thanks Sil.

Anyone know more on the accommodation issue?


Nunca se camina solo
Jo - I don't foresee there being a problem with accommodation. There are lots of hostels and hotels. You will find some recommendations in this forum. If I were you I'd wait until my dates were fixed slightly later in the year and then book.

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