As one of the most important weeks of the year for Christians, Easter in Galicia is a unique experience. During the last week of lent many of the charming towns of Galicia are transformed to accommodate elaborate Easter processions. This holy week is also known as Semana Santa. Pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago during Easter week will have the opportunity to enjoy colourful processions, watch re-enactments of ancient religious traditions and participate in the week long celebrations.
When is Holy week?
Holy week for 2017 starts on April 9th and finishes on April 16th. Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Monday are the most important dates of the week.
What to expect during the week?
The street processions are performed by religious fraternities and brotherhoods wearing traditional dress, also known as, capriote which consists of a long, pointed canonical hat. The parade have elaborately decorated floats with religious symbols and art. These floats are known as ‘pasos’ and are often carried on the shoulders of the brotherhood members. Brass and drum musicians sometimes accompany the processions.
If you are in Santiago de Compostela look out for the following processions in 2017:
10th April 2017 Holy Monday
9:30 pm. Church of Santa María do Camiño. Rúa Travesa. Procession of ‘La Humildad’
11th April 2017 Holy Tuesday
9:00 pm. Convent of Nais Mercedarias. Procession of ‘Santísimo Cristo de la Paciencia’
10:30 pm. Campiño de San Francisco. Procession of ‘Oración del Huerto y Prendimiento’
12th April 2017 Holy Wednesday
7:30 pm. Church of San Francisco. Way of The Cross. Eucharist
8:00 pm. Church of San Francisco. Way of The Cross. Procession
11:00 pm. Church of Orfas. Procession of ‘Los Estudiantes’
13th April 2017 Thursday
7:30 pm. Church of San Francisco. Procession of ‘La Última Cena del Salvador’
11:30 pm. Church of San Agustín. Procession of ‘Jesús Flagelado’
14th April 2017 Good Friday
10:30 am. Church of San Miguel dos Agros. Procession of The Holly Encounter
6:00 pm. Church of Nosa Señora da Quinta Angustia. Procession of ‘La Quinta Angustia’
8:00 pm. Church of San Domingos de Bonaval. Procession of ‘El Santo Entierro’
11:00 pm. Church of Santa María Salomé. Procession of ‘La Virgen de la Soledad
15th April 2017 Holy Saturday
8:00 pm. School of A Inmaculada. Procession of ‘Los Hermanos’
16th April 2017 Easter Sunday
10:30 am. Church of San Francisco. Procession of ‘El Cristo Resucitado’
Where to watch the processions?
There will be numerous processions both day and night in Santiago de Compostela so if you plan on finishing your Camino walk during this week make sure to catch some of the action in the towns main squares or outside the Cathedral. The fishing village of Ferrol, starting point of the English Way also offers up colourful displays at Easter time. This small town is renowned throughout Europe for its elaborate processions. Another option is to join in the festivities in the old town of Lugo on the Original Way where various religious re-enactments are part of the processions.
For 2017, Easter week takes place from April 9th – 16th and if you are planning to celebrate Easter in Galicia you would need to book as soon as possible. For full listings of the events during Easter week read about Semana Santa at Santiago Turismo
For more information about Easter on the Camino or to book your Camino de Santiago tour please contact one of our Travel Specialists.