Easter, or Holy Week, is without a doubt the ‘star festival’ along the Camino de Santiago for the month of April this year.
‘En Abril, Aguas Mil’ goes the popular saying (‘in April, a thousand rains’) but don’t let the weather stop you. April can enjoy glorious and sunny Spring weather. The catch? You just never know!
If you are walking the Camino de Santiago in April, here are some of the most special Camino festivals you will encounter on your way:
-Easter, Holy Week along the Camino
From the outstanding parades Seville, starting point of the Via de la Plata; to Ferrol, on the English Way, and of course Santiago de Compostela, Easter or Holy Week is a colourful and powerful event to witness in many locations along the Camino routes.
Fisterra also hosts very special Easter re-enactments. Padrón on the Portuguese Way hosts its Festa da Pascua from 13th to 27th April and the village of Cacabelos on the French Way also has its own Pascua festival on 5th April.
The city of Santiago de Compostela hosts its Easter celebrations from Palm Sunday, 13th April, until the end of the month. If you are finishing your Camino de Santiago walk around these dates, you have the perfect opportunity to experience first hand one of the most spectacular cultural displays of the year. Touring the streets of the UNESCO-listed old town, Santiago’s 13 brotherhoods share the ‘passion’ in the many daily processions. Besides the classic processions, Compostela is also home to a programme of concerts of Contemplative Music, for Holy Week 2014. For a full list of Easter events in Santiago de Compostela: https://www.santiagoturismo.com/semana-santa
-Oyster Festival in Arcade – Portuguese Way
The fishing village of Arcade, on the Portuguese Way, celebrates its most famous produce: oysters, also this month. The Festa da Ostra, Oyster Festival in Soutomaior, Arcade, takes place this year on 5th and 6th April. Seafood fans are in for a treat.
-Fish and Seafood Festival in Lisbon – Portuguese Way
Also along the Portuguese Way and continuing with a seafood theme, Lisbon hosts its prestigious Fish and Seafood Festival, Peixe em Lisboa, from 3rd to 13th April, showcasing the best restaurateurs and current fish-cooking trends.
Fire water or augardente is used in many Galician alcoholic concoctions such as Queimada, herb liquor, coffee liquor, etc… the town of Portomarín, on the French Way, pays homage to the ultimate Galician spirit on 5th April.
-San Telmo Festival in Tui – Portuguese Way
The border town of Tui, celebrates its biggest festival, dedicated to San Telmo on 15th de Abril.
–International Book Day and Saint George Day – 23rd April
23rd April is International Book Day and Catalonia, Catalan Way, celebrates Diada de Sant Jordi, St George’s Day. Roses and books are sold across Catalonia on this day, celebrating Catalan culture, and given to loved ones.
-Freedom Day in Portugal – 25th April
On 25th April, Portugal celebrates its ‘Freedom Day’, Día da Liberdade, with parades, fireworks and other celebrations across the country. 25th April 1974 was the date when Portuguese military forces rebelled and peacefully put an end to the Salazar regime. It was also called the Carnation Revolution.
-Cheese and Bread in Sahagún – French Way
Also on 25th April, Sahagún, starting point of the Section 5 of the French Way, hosts its annual Romería del Pan y el Queso, a festival entirely dedicated to bread and cheese. What’s not to like?
*You might also like to read: 5 Special Places to Experience Easter on the Camino