2022 is a very special year for the Camino de Santiago and for all pilgrims. In 2021 we celebrate the 120th Compostela Holy Year in its history, making Santiago de Compostela the spiritual capital of the whole world. In 2022 we are still celebrating the Holy Year, because Pope Francis prolonged it due to the coronavirus health crisis.
The celebration of Xacobeo 2021 and 2022 invites you to visit one of the Jacobean Routes. Alone or accompanied, in summer or winter, on foot or by bicycle. If you have not considered it or have not yet decided, today we give you 10 reasons why you should do the Camino de Santiago in 2022.
Here we leave you in detail why you should start doing the Camino during the next Holy Year.
1. Pilgrimage in a special Holy Year.
As you well know, to celebrate a Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela, the Apostle's Day has to fall on Sunday. This situation is very frequent: it usually occurs only 14 times every century.
This 2021 was special because July 25 falls on a Sunday, something that has not happened for 11 years. As if this exception were not enough, in this 2021 the 120th Holy Year of its history is celebrated. And to round off the exceptionality of this event, Pope Francis decided to extend the Holy Year to 2022 due to the coronavirus, which prevented many pilgrims from making the pilgrimage to Santiago throughout 2021.
All this will make Santiago de Compostela and the entire Camino dress in their best clothes and welcome pilgrims from all over the world.
2. Go through the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago.
On December 31, 2020, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago reopened for pilgrims after being sealed for years. Exceptionally, it will continue open during 2022 to celebrate the Xacobeo. This door, whose access can be found in the Plaza de la Quintana, is one of the most important rituals of the Holy Year.
The Christian tradition assures that going through it is one of the three necessary requirements to achieve plenary indulgence.
3. Obtain forgiveness of sins.
Many pilgrims from all over the world decide to visit Santiago and its Cathedral in Holy Year to obtain forgiveness of sins or, what is the same, plenary indulgence.
As we have just seen, one of the requirements to achieve this is to go through the Holy Door of the Cathedral. But there are two more: say a prayer and ask for the Pope, in addition to confessing and receiving communion in the 15 days before or after visiting the Cathedral. Although it is not a fundamental requirement, the Church recommends attending Mass as well.
4. Enjoy the restored Cathedral of Santiago.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has been adorning itself for a few years for this great date: the Xacobeo 2021-2022. This year, pilgrims and visitors will finally be able to contemplate the Cathedral of Santiago without scaffolding and with all its facades renovated, as well as its interior.
The visit to the Compostela temple is also completed with the reopening of the Pórtico de la Gloria, which can now be enjoyed in its original colors.
5. Contemplate the flight of the botafumeiro.
In addition to enjoying the Cathedral of Santiago, the Xacobeo means the return of the “botafumeiro” to the temple. The restoration works prevented this meter and a half high and 50 kilos censer from making its traditional flight through the central nave of the Cathedral.
Since 2021, the eight ‘tiraboleiros’ will once again set the botafumeiro to 68 km per hour in less than 1 minute to the enjoyment and amazement of the faithful gathered in the Cathedral. In case you are curious to know the origin of the ritual and when you can see it functional, we leave you this article dedicated to the botafumeiro.
6. Celebrate Xacobeo 2021-2022.
2021 and 2022 are not only an important year for Santiago and its Cathedral. Galicia and many of the communities through which the Camino de Santiago passes will have an extensive program of activities with which to celebrate Xacobeo 2021-2022.
Exhibitions, concerts, congresses and a host of other activities that will make the Camino de Santiago even more attractive.
7. Live the experience of the Camino de Santiago for the first time.
Doing the Camino de Santiago is not an essential requirement to celebrate the Xacobeo or receive the plenary indulgence. But there are many pilgrims who take advantage of this special date to experience the Camino for the first time.
8. Return to the Camino after Covid-19.
2020 and 2021 were an atypical year for the Camino de Santiago. For the first time in its history, the Jacobean Routes were empty and the pilgrims could not step on the Camino because of Covid-19.
With the arrival of vaccines and the much desired stabilization of the epidemic, this 2022 is presented as a great opportunity to return to the Camino. To return to share experiences with other pilgrims, stay in the hostels, greet the hospitaleros and fill the Jacobean Routes again with a pilgrim spirit.
9. Share with other pilgrims.
2022 will undoubtedly be a year of great influx of pilgrims, in which experiences can be shared with people from all over the world and in which the Routes will be in all their splendor.
10. Get to know Santiago de Compostela.
If you have never been to the capital of Galicia, 2022 is a very good opportunity. In addition to enjoying the Jacobean tradition, you will be able to know its historic center, a World Heritage Site, enjoy its gastronomy, its green areas and the hospitality of its inhabitants. Here we leave you a guide with the essentials of what to see and do in Santiago.
Have you been encouraged to do the Camino de Santiago in 2021 and 2022? Remember that in our section The Caminos you have information about the most popular routes, with their detailed stages, level of difficulty and advice on what to see and do from our postmen. In addition, you will be able to choose accommodation among the more than 4,000 establishments on all the Caminos that we offer information about.
If you need help to make your experience as complete as possible, do not forget that Correos offers the pilgrim a whole series of services to make the Camino more bearable before, during and after.
And if 2021 and 2022 are not your years, don't worry. You will have a new opportunity in 2027, 2032 and 2038. Buen Camino, pilgrims!
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