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Significance of burning personal items at Finisterre

D

Deleted member 90306

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Hey Pilgrims,

What is the significance of burning personal possessions when reaching the end of the world at Finisterre?
 
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Bradypus

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Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Hey Pilgrims,

What is the significance of burning personal possessions when reaching the end of the world at Finisterre?
It demonstrates that the person is easily led into accepting modern inventions as 'tradition' and their complete disregard for the environment and the safety and wishes of local people in their willingness to satisfy their own selfish desire for a "spiritual" photo-op.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
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
@Bradypus Do not mock this ancient tradition, which surely dates from the early 1980s, and is intended to provide a ritual of the completion of the journey to the ends of the earth, and the death of the underclothing and boots which brought one there. Such spiritual cleansing is of great meaning to the post-Franco pilgrim.
 
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D

Deleted member 90306

Guest
@Bradypus Do not mock this ancient tradition, which surely dates from the early 1980s, and is intended to provide a ritual of the completion of the journey to the ends of the earth, and the death of the underclothing and boots which brought one there. Such spiritual cleansing is of great meaning to the post-Franco pilgrim.
I appreciate your response. I should have also added, what were the origins/traditions of burning possessions at Finisterre. So this is the answer I was looking for.

Thanks :D
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
@Bradypus Do not mock this ancient tradition, which surely dates from the early 1980s, and is intended to provide a ritual of the completion of the journey to the ends of the earth, and the death of the underclothing and boots which brought one there. Such spiritual cleansing is of great meaning to the post-Franco pilgrim.
My underclothing and boots are very likely to be near death and/or possibly ripe with unwanted life at the end of a 900+km Camino. But I can think of less environmentally hazardous ways of marking their demise than cremating them along with a hectare or two of Galician hillside. https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notic...onte-do-cabo-fisterra/0003_201808C25C2997.htm
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Purification ritual . Starting life afresh/new.

the burning is not acceptable now. For health, fire reasons.

entering the ocean is.

Before you enter the ocean, please, please make sure you do this at a safe beach and NOT at the Cabo, for example. This part of the coast is not known as the Costa del Morte for nothing ...
BC SY
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (1974 + others)
There's a place on the cathedral roof in Santiago where a guide told us that pilgrims burned their clothes. The Finisterre tradition is modern.

I've always wondered if medieval pilgrims had burned their clothes, what would they wear as most probably had only one set of clothes - what they were wearing.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I've always wondered if medieval pilgrims had burned their clothes, what would they wear as most probably had only one set of clothes - what they were wearing.
They used their newly acquired scallop shells as a substitute for a loincloth - tying it on with strips of dried kelp collected at the full moon on the beach at Muxia - and walked home wearing only that. After walking so many miles to get to Santiago they were road-hardened and didn't need clothes anymore.
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
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CF - September 2016
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I thought it was because Galicia was even wetter in past times and dry kindling and wood was unavailable. So one day medieval pilgrim 1 said to pilgrim 2 "Oi Brian, if you was going to get rid of that rag of a cloak I could use it to start a fire". And so a tradition was born.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Year of past OR future Camino
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Hey Pilgrims,

What is the significance of burning personal possessions when reaching the end of the world at Finisterre?
Hey Pilgrims,

What is the significance of burning personal possessions when reaching the end of the world at Finisterre?
Hey Pilgrims,

What is the significance of burning personal possessions when reaching the end of the world at Finisterre?
without giving away too many details: a 40 something (perfectly nice) guy told me that he burnt the name of his one-time girlfriend, who is now married to another guy, has 2 children and lives in a city on a different continent, My Camino Amigo thought it would help him expunge her from his heart!!1 Go figure.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
without giving away too many details: a 40 something (perfectly nice) guy told me that he burnt the name of his one-time girlfriend, who is now married to another guy, has 2 children and lives in a city on a different continent, My Camino Amigo thought it would help him expunge her from his heart!!1 Go figure.
Whatever works for him but that's a stretch and he really needed to get over it ;)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
It demonstrates that the person is easily led into accepting modern inventions as 'tradition' and their complete disregard for the environment and the safety and wishes of local people in their willingness to satisfy their own selfish desire for a "spiritual" photo-op.
Whoo, Bradypus, dial it back a bit.
I agree that it is not good for environment, neither the human nor the ecological, but I understand the need to put a final cap on what was, hopefully, an amazing experience for the walker.
Personally, I couldn't imagine burning my items at the end of my Camino. They had been my closest companions for weeks and weeks and had seen me through too many adventures to count. If I could now hang my boots off my rear view mirror of my car, I would.
Anthropomorphism, anyone?
 
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Thomas@Albany

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First Part Oct. 5 2018 (StJ)-Oct. 19 (Boadillo); 2nd Part May 5 (Boadilla) to May 26, 2019.
without giving away too many details: a 40 something (perfectly nice) guy told me that he burnt the name of his one-time girlfriend, who is now married to another guy, has 2 children and lives in a city on a different continent, My Camino Amigo thought it would help him expunge her from his heart!!1 Go figure.
I appreciate your response. I should have also added, what were the origins/traditions of burning possessions at Finisterre. So this is the answer I was looking for.

Thanks :D
All traditions have to start some day. There was a time when some old Roman sniffed when hearing of Christmas as a new invented holiday. It is a tradition now and makes sense.
 

DannyFox

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Septembre 2016 or March 2017
Yes, it’s a modern “tradition” that is a hazard to health, safety, and the environment. Instead of burning, I donated my clothes to a secondhand shop and used my boots as planters for succulents to always be reminded of my journey and that everything is connected.
 

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