Camino de Santiago holy year of 2021-2022 is a special period of celebrations! WAW Travel will provide you a brief overview of its meaning and why you should go for it!
2021 and 2022 represent an important period for Santiago de Compostela, being the Holy Year. For many pilgrims, it is an extra reason to join a pilgrim. The Camino walk in holy year is a very attractive celebration for prilgrims from all around the world, reflected in the data registered. During the last Holy Year in 2016, 278,041 pilgrims arrived in Santiago and in the Holy Year of 2010, 272,417.
What is a Holy Year?
Santiago de Compostela celebrates a holy year whenever July 25th, the day of Saint James, falls on a Sunday. There will be plenty of events, celebrations and extra church services, a period in which is given plenary indulgence to pilgrims passing through the Holy Door.
The rhythm of the sacred years is eleven, six, five, six, eleven, and so on. The previous holy year was 2010, the following will be 2027 and 2032. For the first time in the history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela since about 800, the Pope has extended the validity of the holy year to 2022 due to the pandemic.
The tradition of Camino de Santiago holy year
In a century, there are 14 Holy Years. So it’s special, that’s clear! But why is it special to do the Camino de Santiago holy year? In Santiago de Compostela people started with the celebration of a holy year around 1426. The immense cathedral has many doors, but one of them is something special. The Puerta del Perdón at Plaza Quintana is always closed, except in a holy year. The opening and closing will take place on December 31 at 5 pm during a ceremony led by the archbishop. Also known as the Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago has the distinction of being one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in history. In the past 1000 years, many pilgrims have done a Camino Walk to the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The holy door after your Camino de Santiago holy year
During a Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela, the pilgrim can earn a full indulgence if he enters through the holy door after the Camino Walk. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, after confession and penance, there remains a temporary debt, payable in purgatory. Full or jubilee indulgence grants the believer complete remission of all temporary penalties after he has confessed and taken Communion.
What you need to know if you plan the Camino de Santiago Holy Year
Because the Holy Year is special, many pilgrims are planning to walk or bike a camino. Keep in mind that it can be busy on the road. For example on the last 100 kilometres to Santiago, from Sarria or Tui.
Our most important tips for your Camino de Santiago Holy Year!
Tip 1: Be on time for Camino de Santiago Holy Year!
Are you planning to go hiking or cycling the Camino in 2021 and 2022? We advise you to book your accommodations in great advance. Feel free to ask us for advice. Let us know which Camino you want to walk or cycle.
Tip 2: July 25th is the day!
As you may have read, July 25 is Saint James day. Many pilgrims choose to arrive after their Camino de Santiago Holy Year on this specific day. So this can be a very busy day in the city. Accommodations are difficult to find or very expensive. This is not a problem, you just have to plan in advance. Remember: 2022 will be considered Holy Year too! Then plan your Camino Walk in Holy Year so that you arrive on July 25 and book already your accommodation . There are all kinds of festivities in the city during that week, definitely worth experiencing. Do you want to avoid the crowds? Then you can arrive in Santiago on any day you want.
Tip 3: The best time to do Camino de Santiago Holy Year but without crowded paths?
Would you prefer to avoid Santiago for the whole month of July? No problem. You can cycle or do a Camino Walk from March to October. The weather conditions in this period are great for a Camino Walk or bike.You then have the Camino all for yourself 😉
Tip 4: Choose a more unknown Camino de Santiago Holy Year!
In 2021 and 2022, many pilgrims will walk or cycle the well-known pilgrimage routes, such as the Camino Frances, Camino del Norte or Camino Portugués. You can choose to go on a Camino Walk in Holy Year on more unknown caminos around Spain. Think for example of the Cami de Cavalls in Menorca. You will discover authentic fishing villages, the most beautiful deserted beaches and all this in ultimate tranquillity.
Tip 5: Camino de Santiago Holy Year, discover other parts of the pilgrimage route!
Another idea: walk or cycle other parts of a Camino Walk in Holy Year. You may not arrive in Santiago. in order to avoid the ultimate goal of the other pilgrims, especially in Holy Year: reaching Santiago. Here we present you some options:
- Part of the Camino Frances from Pamplona to Leon. This route has everything: an authentic atmosphere, picturesque villages and beautiful nature in Spain’s best gastronomic regions. This part of the Camino de Santiago is very varied and absolutely commendable.
- The first part of the Camino del Norte. The Camino Walk from Irun to Bilbao and/or from Bilbao to Santander. This one is hard, but so authentic and beautiful along Spain’s north coast. This famous coastline has beautiful beaches with cliffs, great restaurants, idyllic fishing villages and fantastic cities.
- Another idea is to start your Camino walk in Santiago. Yes, why not? The Camino de Finisterre is a pilgrimage route that does not end in the Galician capital but begins. You literally walk or cycle to the “end of the world”. A Camino Walk in Holy Year to never forget!