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Summer Holidays and Festivos in Galicia 2017

natefaith

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Sarria-Santiago (2009)
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If you'll be walking through Galicia during the next few months, you may be interested in knowing some of the upcoming holidays when there may be more activity than usual in the towns you pass through, and businesses may or may not be open:

May 17: Día das Letras Galegas. Every year the Real Academia Galega picks a Galego/Galega author to be honored. This year it will be Carlos Casares. Kids will be off of school, and businesses may or may not be open.

May 25: Ascension Day. Kids will be off of school May 25 and May 26, and businesses may or may not be open depending on whether their township has declared it a holiday. However - if you're arriving in Santiago (and perhaps any other larger town) the weekend of the 26th, it's highly recommended you book accommodations in advance as the city will be extremely busy and full (did I mention kids get a four-day weekend?!).

June 24: Festival of San Juan. If you're fortunate enough to be by a beach on Friday, June 23, look for fires and fire-jumping at sundown. The locals usually roast sardines over the bonfires as well. Again, if you plan to be in any larger towns along the Camino during the June 23 weekend, you may want to book your accommodations in advance.

July 25: St. James' Day, Santiago's big day! The Cathedral usually puts on a light show in the Praza do Obradoiro on July 24 and most businesses are closed on July 25 in Galicia. Santiago is a madhouse during this holiday. The advantage of this year is that it doesn't fall on a weekend, but still - you may want to book your accommodations in advance.

August 15: Ascension of Mary. As this is a national holiday most businesses will be closed throughout Spain.

August 16: Fiesta de San Roque. This is a municipal holiday for Santiago.

Sometimes when stores are closed restaurants and cafés are still open, but for peace of mind you may want to stock up on food before some of these special days in case you find most establishments closed.

Hope this is helpful and that you can eagerly anticipate celebrating with the locals if you're in Galicia/ Spain on one of these days. :)

Buen Camino, everyone!
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
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This link seems comprehensive if you'd like more information on Spanish holidays and the communities that celebrate them: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/spain/

And this link (in Spanish) lists in detail all of the townships in Galicia and what days they'll celebrate local holidays: https://www.xunta.gal/dog/Publicados/2016/20161212/AnuncioG0424-301116-0007_es.html

(In the above link, the towns are listed under the province in which they're located. For example, Fisterra, Muxía, and Santiago de Compostela are all found in the the A Coruña list.)
 

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I hope to arrive in Santiago on May 24th, and fly home on 26th. I'd already noticed that Ascension day was a holiday, and in 2016, there was a Comparsa de Cabezudos on the Wed, the day before, at noon. Having never seen one before, I was quite excited that I might be able to see it this year. Any idea whether it is happening this year, and if so, where it starts and finished? Thanks.
 

mspath

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Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I hope to arrive in Santiago on May 24th, and fly home on 26th. I'd already noticed that Ascension day was a holiday, and in 2016, there was a Comparsa de Cabezudos on the Wed, the day before, at noon. Having never seen one before, I was quite excited that I might be able to see it this year. Any idea whether it is happening this year, and if so, where it starts and finished? Thanks.

Check this list for some 2017 possibilities.
https://fiestas.net/gigantes-y-cabezudos/
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
I hope to arrive in Santiago on May 24th, and fly home on 26th. I'd already noticed that Ascension day was a holiday, and in 2016, there was a Comparsa de Cabezudos on the Wed, the day before, at noon. Having never seen one before, I was quite excited that I might be able to see it this year. Any idea whether it is happening this year, and if so, where it starts and finished? Thanks.

Hola Felice, there isn't much information available on the internet just yet. Maybe you can bookmark this link and stay tuned to see if they post a program in the next couple of weeks: http://www.santiagoturismo.com/festas-e-tradicions/festas-da-ascension

If you look at their program from last year, you'll see that they did a Comparsa de Cabezudos on Wednesday and on Thursday at 12:30: http://www.santiagoturismo.com/files/2016/04/ProgramaWeb.pdf. It doesn't say where it started and ended, though. All I know is that they always go by Pilgrim House on Rua Nova in old town :).

Enjoy being here during the holiday!
Faith
 
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Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Thanks for the link, mspath.

Slightly unfortunate result from google translate though -

12.00 Bombs announcing the beginning of the holidays. Roads of the historical center.
 

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