The Jubilee Year also known as the Holy Year (Año Santo or Año Jacobeo in Spanish) is celebrated when 25 July happens on Sunday, this fact only takes place 14 times each century, for this reason, it is considered as a major event of the Christian faithful and the number of pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago increases significantly. The Jacobean Years coinciding with Santiago Apostle day on Sunday occur every 6,5,6 and 11 years.
During the Holy Year devoted pilgrims can earn their jubilee indulgences as the Catholic Church forgives sins to the faithful who complete the following tasks: visit the Cathedral of Santiago, attend the Holy Mass, say a prayer, receive the holy sacrament and the communion and visit the tomb of Apostle Santiago. Over the centuries thousands of pilgrims from all corners of the world have walked to the grave of Apostle Santiago during the Holy Years or Jacobean Years. The last Holy Year took place in 2010 and the next one will be held in 2021.
The inauguration of the Jubilee Year is undertaken on the afternoon of 31 December of the previous year when the Holy Door is opened. There is a ceremony where the archbishop of Santiago hits the wall that closes the entrance of the Cathedral located in Plaza de la Quintana with a silver hammer, the wall symbolizes the roughness of the Camino de Santiago. Then the wall that allows the entrance of thousands of pilgrims that arrive in Santiago de Compostela and wish to visit the temple is pulled down. This entrance will be opened during the next 12 months, on 31 December of the Holy Year the door is closed again until the next Jacobean Year.
At present day the entrance used by pilgrims is not the original entrance. Due to the renovation works made in the Salvador chapel, the Holy Door doesn’t have its iconic function since it has been moved a few degrees on the right. In the past, it was facing the East and was the symbol of the end of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The current gate was made in bronze in the year 2004 by the sculptor Suso León from Santiago de Compostela.
Currently, there are five places in the world where the Jubilee Year takes place: Santiago de Compostela, Caravaca de la Cruz, Liébana, Santo Toribio. Rome and Jerusalem so if you’re thinking about doing your Camino de Santiago during the Xacobeo 2021 wait no longer and start planning your trip with us. Given the fact that this is a major event the accommodations are filled with enough time, this is why at Galician Roots we recommend you to book your trip in advance so you are sure to have a room. And if you can’t come this year remember that the Camino de Santiago is always a good idea.
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