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Long queues for the Pilgrim Mass in Santiago

2020 Camino Guides


Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!


Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Is it like this every day in August or does it have something to do with this weekend being a puente, a bridge weekend, because Tuesday 15 August is a public holiday in Spain (Assumption of Mary) and also elsewhere and people making use of it for short term as well as longer term vacation trips?
A friend in Santiago has suggested that the really big numbers at the moment are to do with the Assumption holiday. If anyone wants to get some idea of the current state of play then this webcam pointed at the door in the south transept might give some idea of how things are:


Nunca se camina solo
Hola - the town is very busy indeed. The weather is wonderful and it is a long weekend because of the public holiday for the Feast of the Assumption. It is an interesting feature of life in Spain that there are some traditionally religious feasts, the Assumption, All Saints and the Immaculate Conception of Mary which are also national public holidays - and of course the Feast of Saint James!
There are other feasts around which local civic holidays are enjoyed such as John the Baptist when in Galicia bonfires are lit, sardines are grilled and people jump over the fires or the Ascensión when the city of Santiago has three days of holiday and parties. All very odd sounding to someone from Presbyterian Scotland. But... See the Spanish, see holidays, they love them.
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
In the past few years, the cathedral has filled up well before the noon mass begins. For some time, I have been advising people to be there no later than 11.00.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
We arrived in St Jean on 15 August, 2013, to find a four-day (maybe longer) festival in progress. There were marching bands, fiestas in the park across from our gite with loud music, fireworks at midnight, then more dancing and music. The streets were crowded with French and Basque tourists wearing traditional red and white. Needless to say, we started walking up the hill the next morning with maybe two hours sleep on top of lingering jetlag. I'm glad we only walked as far as Orisson.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I was there on Friday, the queue is indeed enormous, but moves very quickly once the doors are open. There was sitting or standing room for everyone. Please remember before joining the queue that you cannot take backpacks in.

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