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Easter on the Camino - please share experiences

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
My family of four (2 children) will be walking the CF next year and will be somewhere around Burgos at the Beginning of Easter. I have googled 'Easter on the Camino' (one site - https://www.followthecamino.com/blog/easter-on-the-camino/ was informative).

I am not necessarily asking for advice (ie probably should book ahead) - although any advice would be most welcome. I would mainly love to hear of your experiences of spending Easter along the Camino.

(We are doing the CF but would welcome experiences from other routes)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
When the time comes, Google a bit and try to take in some of the events during the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Definitely worthwhile, but booking ahead would be wise.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Yes, book ahead, as many Europeans, and Spaniards, take advantage of their time off to travel and walk the Caminos. Saw many people struggle to find a bed starting on Good Friday all the way to Easter Monday, bit no issues before that, or after.

Each village will have its celebration on different days of the week. You will see posters on the doors and walls of bars, grocery stores, etc. So it may be a bit difficult to plan to see some of the celebrations.

What is common are the parades of floats and penitants often preceeded by a brass band. A little weird for those of us who associate pointy hats and covered faces with past, but alas also current, white supremacist idiocy in the USA. (Surely that is something I can say even on this Forum?) These parades can take place during the day as well as late in the evening, which may keep you up for longer than a pilgrim may want to be up at.

This year I was in luck as I was in Merida on the day free torrijas were being served on the main plaza. Yummy! Torrijas are basically French toast from a baguette/bocadillo type bread, served with a honey or wine syrup.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Last year on Easter Sunday, I walked from Roncesvalles to Zubiri. There was snow at Roncesvalles, but much more of it up along the Napoleon Route, which was still closed. This photo of my brown hat was taken when I stopped for my first taste of potato frittata and a beer. It was also the first and only time that someone said "Via Con Dios" to me - maybe he was a furrener like me. When I got to SDC, this day seemed like a lifetime behind me. (P.S., the patch on my hat is the (Edit: official) Australian Aboriginal Flag)

CAMINO-Easter-2016.jpg
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I remember in 2011 that I was in Belorado on Good Friday and there was a small procesion going in a local parish . On Semana Santa friday this the Via Crucis.
I just deciced to follow the parishioners with my backpack...I could not get out of the packed line anyway :) A special moment indeed.
A couple of days later on Easter Monday we were walking into Burgos and what normally is a busy industrial road was now deserted and very quiet...making the walk really nice and contemplative.
In 2014 and 2016 I was fortunate to be in Santiago de Compostela for the beginning of Semana Santa with the first processions of Palmsunday aka Domingo de Ramos. There is something very special about Spain during Semana Santa. Enjoy.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
(P.S., the patch on my hat is of the (unofficial but ubiquitous) Australian Aboriginal National flag)
I hate to break it to you Mike, but the Australian Aboriginal Flag, to give it its proper title, is one of the three official flags of Australia, and has been since the mid 1990s. The official status was first proclaimed on 14 Jul 1995, and then permanently in 2008. The other two are the Australian National Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
I hate to break it to you Mike, but the Australian Aboriginal Flag, to give it its proper title, is one of the three official flags of Australia, and has been since the mid 1990s. The official status was first proclaimed on 14 Jul 1995, and then permanently in 2008. The other two are the Australian National Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag.
Thanks Doug, I stand corrected. I assumed that there could be only one internationally recognised Australian flag and that the Aboriginal flag was used so widely that it had been adopted as a consequence of "moral force". I first became aware of this flag during the land rights demos many years ago, thought it was a flag of resistance, which it is, I suppose. In fact I prefer to think of it as a symbol of resistance. I should have checked. Wikipedia says that the Oz government bungled the original legal status of this flag but corrected that in 2008 when the original legal status was mistakenly allowed to lapse.

EDIT: Please note: The Australian Aboriginal flag is officially recognised but is not interchangeable with the Australian national flag. Aboriginal artist and designer of the Aboriginal flag, Harold Thomas, holds the copyright to the design. He has said that he doesn't want this flag to be thought of as a secondary flag. My personal feeling is that this flag is regarded as a symbol of activism and pride. There's a large architectural structure on top of the Parliament building in Canberra, the nation's capital. On top of that is a flagpole. There's only one flag flying on that pole.
 
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kelleymac

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
We walked the two weeks before Easter, arriving in Santiago de Compostela on the day after Easter. (I still wish I had pushed myself to make it by Easter.) Easter was early that year-- April 5th -- so there weren't many people walking, some of the Albergues were closed until after Easter. We saw notices of the Holy Week processions in Leon and Astorga, but we went through them too early. The the smaller villages didn't have anything happening really-- but there were Spanish families walking and the conversation in the albergues was mainly in Spanish. Our family observes the Triduum, and it was actually difficult for me to find a church open on Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. I also didn't figure out where to go for an Easter Vigil Mass. We did make it to mass on Easter morning, and there was evidence a vigil (there was candle wax on the floor). It was a pretty church with a huge scallop shell as a reredos behind the altar. I think all the big happenings were in the bigger cities, or maybe I just had my timing off going through the smaller towns and villages. -- Remember that many stores are closed during Holy Week.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Oh, I forgot. I guess I wanted to forget. Easter in Spain also means a return to the home village for a few days, with disco outings to the local bar or social center.

If the albergue you are thinking of staying at is next door to the bar or the community center, keep walking. Or you will not get to sleep until after 3 am.

This Easter I was in a village with a bar, a disco an community center. Bar and disco across the street from the community center. Albergue shared a wall with community center. I remember thinking how glad I was the albergue was not adjacent to the disco.

Little did I now the disco was out of business and the party would be at the community centre... And of course I was not told about said party when I picked up they key to the albergue. :confused:
 

gregorygwilliams

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015 late May to early June Ponferada to Santiago
2017 Apr 11 St. Jean to May 13 Santiago
Yes, book ahead, as many Europeans, and Spaniards, take advantage of their time off to travel and walk the Caminos. Saw many people struggle to find a bed starting on Good Friday all the way to Easter Monday, bit no issues before that, or after.

Each village will have its celebration on different days of the week. You will see posters on the doors and walls of bars, grocery stores, etc. So it may be a bit difficult to plan to see some of the celebrations.

What is common are the parades of floats and penitants often preceeded by a brass band. A little weird for those of us who associate pointy hats and covered faces with past, but alas also current, white supremacist idiocy in the USA. (Surely that is something I can say even on this Forum?) These parades can take place during the day as well as late in the evening, which may keep you up for longer than a pilgrim may want to be up at.

This year I was in luck as I was in Merida on the day free torrijas were being served on the main plaza. Yummy! Torrijas are basically French toast from a baguette/bocadillo type bread, served with a honey or wine syrup.
I agree, I walked Semana Santa this year and spent Holy Thursday in Pamplona, I'm not sure but I think I saw a Cardinal was someones feet! First for me. Puente la Riena for Good Friday, and Estrella for the Easter vigil mass. All very nice. A great time to walk this section of the camino.
 
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Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
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Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
I walked the CF during Easter two years ago and was in Burgos on Palm Sunday and Leon for Easter Sunday,I really enjoyed the processiones with the bands, the colourful dress of the participants and the huge crowds filling the streets.
Also,during Semana Santa it was good to meet up with many of the Spaniards who only walk the camino at this time of year.
Never had any problem finding a bed during this busy period.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Oh no Anemone... Ear plugs can't mask the doof-doof of loud music!

THanks everyone for sharing your experiences.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Oh no Anemone... Ear plugs can't mask the doof-doof of loud music!

THanks everyone for sharing your experiences.
The following mornong I waltz in for my cafe con leche and the person serving me was the communal center's manager. He asked if I "wanted to kill him". He felt so bad.

But his job os to run both the albergue and the disco, ooops, community center, a job he bid on to get. Not his fault. But the town got a mouthful in its book, something along the lines of how ot cannot run two businesses that require opposite conditions to work.

Did I tell you about the Community Center mgr wife's delicious gissard recipe? It made up for the lack of sleep!
 

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