CULTS & RITUALS
Spirituality and Faith: goal achieved
The ritual of the end of the Way is marked by the pilgrim’s mass, celebrated daily at 12:00 am in the Cathedral of Santiago.
An emblematic element of this religious structure, the largest and best known in the world – only used in holy years when July 25, Santiago Day, falls on a Sunday – is the popular botafumeiro, a huge 53-kilo, 1.5-metre-high censer, bathed in silver. The purification ritual attributed to this symbol is performed by eight specialists who suspend it at a height of 20 metres, causing it to swing through the interior of the cathedral.
Another emblematic ritual is the embrace of the Apostle, where his statue, resting on the crypt containing his relics, is embraced by pilgrims as a sign of closeness after all the pilgrimage effort or, for the most devout, this embrace means welcoming the Apostle into his home – similar to a ‘welcome’ ritual.