It’s one of the representative symbols of the Camino de Santiago,

and its importance is almost proportional to its size. It is a large censer, weighing approximately 50 kilos and reaching a height of 1.50 meters.

It is usually offered as a welcome for pilgrims during the mass in honor of them. Then, it begins with the reading of the names of the pilgrims who have completed the Camino and have passed through the pilgrim’s office in the 24 hours prior to mass.

What is the appeal of the Botafumeiro?

It starts from the central dome of the Santo Recinto, and rises 20 meters above the heads of parishioners and pilgrims. It reaches speeds of 70 km per hour and is driven by a pulley system operated by a group of 8 men known as “tiraboleiros”.

Curious story behind the botafumeiro

The main function of this large censer was to reduce the bad smell caused by the crowding of pilgrims during the Middle Ages. At that time the temple did not have opening or closing hours, being used by ancient pilgrims as a refuge after their arrival at the Cathedral.

What are the days that I can enjoy the Botafumeiro?

We leave you a list of the days in which this attractive symbol of the Camino de Santiago is in operation. Usually a ceremony is performed at the usual pilgrim mass, but if you arrive in the Galician capital on the following dates you may be able to see it:

January 6: For being the date of the Epiphany of the Lord
During resurrection Sunday
On the date of the Lord’s Ascension


May 23: When the appearance of the apostle and the Celebration of the Battle of Clavijo are commemorated
July 25: Martyrdom of the Apostle
August 15: Celebration of the Assumption of Mary
November 1: For All Saints’ Day

Feast of Christ the King

December 8: To commemorate the Immaculate Conception
December 25: Christmas Date
November 30: Transfer of the apostle

How can I do if I cannot arrive on these dates?

In case you do not have the availability of any of these days to enjoy the Botafumeiro.

You can organize a group to hire the services, as long as they have the amount of money they ask for, they can enjoy this event, the average cost is 300 euros.

The Botafumeiro is one of the symbols reflected in the Calixtino Codex, so it is closely related to the traditions of the Camino. It is a spectacle worth seeing after completing the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago.

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