A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


2019 Camino Guides

Live - Camino Francés The Botafumeiro

Camino(s) past & future
As I find myself within 70km of Santiago, I’m beginning to prepare myself for “arriving” there.

I’m hearing conflicting reports about the botafumeiro - so I’d like to ask the Hive Mind for clarification.

Does it happen daily, or on Friday, or on Sunday?

All three versions have been mentioned...


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte for April (2019) possible Primitivo
Congratulations and Buen Camino
https://oficinadelperegrino.com/en/. Under the FAQ’s page
I think you have to reserserve it It no longer operates daily. The following is copied from the FAQ’s page :
When does Botafumeiro work?

The Botafumeiro (‘censer’ in Galician) is one of the most famous and popular symbols of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is a large censer that swings from the central dome of the Cathedral, from which it hangs by a system of pulleys, to the side naves. Eight men are required to move it, who are known as the tiraboleiros, as it weighs 53 kg and measures 1.50 metres; it is suspended at a height of 20 metres and can reach a high speed.

The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical purposes, in the same way any priest would use a censer at the altar, and you can see it on the following days of Eucharistic celebration

  • The Epiphany: 6th January
  • Easter Sunday
  • The Ascension of the Lord
  • The Appearance of the Apostle-Clavijo: 23rd May
  • Pentecost
  • The Martyrdom of St. James: 25th July
  • Mary’s Assumption: 15th August
  • All Saints: 1st November
  • Christ the King
  • Immaculate Conception: 8th December
  • Christmas: 25th December
  • Transfer of the remains of the Apostle: 30th December
The Botafumeiro can also be operated to mark pilgrimages that have been requested at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office

To reserve the Botafumeiro, please send an email to: botafumeiro@catedraldesantiago.es.
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
In the 'off season' like now (October - Easter), the Botafumeiro is only used on the Catholic Holy Days and Solemnities listed above, in Iriebabel's post. At all other times, it is only used if someone or some group ponies up the @ € 400 to cover the costs of having it used.

Note: With the exception of the wonderful nun who sings the hymn, all others involved in the ceremony are laypersons who must be paid. In this regards, it is not much different than having to hire pallbearers for a funeral.

Also, each time the Botafumeiro is used, it must be cleaned properly and prepared for the next use. So, there is some significant effort and cost that goes into this ceremony. Hence the charges.

Information to request to pay for having the Botafumeriro used is also above.

Hope this helps.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug/Sept 2018
We attended the Pilgrim's Mass at 7:30pm on Wednesday, 12th September and had heard that unless a donation had been made we wouldn't happen. So, when, at the end of the Mass they started untying the botafumeiro ropes we felt immensely privileged and lucky.
We originally had planned to go the next day at noon. So glad we changed our minds (or or guardian angels changed them for us!)
We're enjoying reading your blog about places we have so recently passed through. Only a few more editions to go....
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
I went to 3 masses in early July hoping to see it. It happened for me on a Friday, and was amazing. I had heard Friday is a day tour buses often show up, so perhaps part of the tour bus price goes to ensuring they can make that happen? Good luck!
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
ELHS220 Camino Frances 3
Jackie Camino Frances 5
J Camino Frances 45

OLDER threads on this topic

A few items available from the Camino Forum Store

Pilgrims here right now


Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 33 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 108 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 179 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 53 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 219 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 89 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%