We tell you what is exactly the botafumeiro of the Cathedral of Santiago, what it is for and what days of the year you will see it on the move
The botafumeiro (which means "censer" in Galician) is a large liturgical vessel that hangs from the dome of the Cathedral of Santiago and that spreads incense throughout the temple moving from one side to another thanks to a system of pulleys. The botafumeiro is operated by eight 'tiraboleiros', in charge of pushing it first and pulling the rope afterwards, in order to make the container full of incense and coal pick up speed. The tiraboleiros can move the botafumeiro so that it reaches up to 68 km / h, going up to a height of 21 meters, drawing an arch of 65 meters.
The function of the botafumeiro is to spread incense through the temple and in this way to perfume it to eliminate unpleasant odors. This tradition began in the eleventh century, with the rise of the Camino de Santiago, which attracted a large number of pilgrims to the cathedral just after finishing their trip, without having been able to wash or rest.
In ancient times the churches and cathedrals of the Camino sheltered the pilgrims at night, so the bad smells were concentrated in the temples, so it was necessary to use incense to scare away the stench. The size of the botafumeiro of the Cathedral of Santiago obeys to the dimensions of the temple and the fact of being the end of the Camino, which concentrated many pilgrims who concluded their pilgrimage to Santiago.
The botafumeiro of the Cathedral of Santiago "flies" in a total of 12 occasions a year, of which nine are fixed days and three are festivities that change of day according to the year. However you should know that since the 28/1/2019 and the following 12 months the interior of the cathedral is under construction for the Xacobeo Year 2021, so no liturgies are performed (and therefore the botafumeiro is not used ).
Below you will find all the dates in which you can see the botafumeiro in movement updated to the liturgical calendar of 2019. According to the Pilgrim's Welcome Office, the botafumeiro can also function on the occasion of pilgrimages that have requested it.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649