The feast day of St. James, the patron saint of the Camino de Santiago, is officially celebrated throughout the Camino de Santiago on the 25th July of every year. When the feast day of St. James falls on a Sunday, the year is deemed to be a holy one. Indeed, St James’ Day falls on Sunday in 2021.
However, as the Covid crisis has affected the Camino this year, the committee responsible for holding the celebration in Santiago have made the decision to extend Holy Year throughout 2022.
So, what can you expect when visiting the Camino de Santiago during a Holy Year? Tradition has it that pilgrims who walk during a holy year and pass under the St. James’ doorway in Santiago cathedral will be absolved of all sins.
Santiago de Compostela holds a series of events to celebrate the life of St. James in the last two weeks of July. The main event of the festival takes place on the eve of the 24th July with a fantastical light show in Praza do Obradoiro.
A special mass is held to celebrate St. James’ Day on the morning of the 25th July. The festival period ends with a fireworks display on the 31st July.
There are extra activities and events in Santiago de Compostela during the holy year, which means that the time around the feast of St. James is exceptionally busy, especially on the Camino Frances route. I recommend that accommodation is booked well in advance for both 2021 and 2022, especially in Santiago do Compostela.
If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.