Xacobeo 2021: Catedral de Satiago

Jacobean Holy Year: preparation and reasons to celebrate 2021

Galicia is getting ready for the Jubilee 2021, eleven years after the last Holy Year. But, what exactly is the Jubilee? Why is it so important and what is its origin?



The Jubilee, Jacobeo in Spanish, Xacobeo in Galician, is celebrated every year that the 25th of July, day of the Apostle James (whose tomb is believed to be located in Santiago de Compostela), falls on a Sunday.

The Compostelan Holy Year happens following a pattern of every 6-5-6-11 years due to leap years. 2010 was the last Holy Year and 2021 will be the next Jubilee.


Although the word Jacobean was originally an adjective used to refer to anything related to the apostle James the Great, in 1991, the Xunta de Galicia adopted the term Xacobeo as a trademark to promote and boost the Camino de Santiago, contributing to the religious celebrations of the Compostelan holy years.

Since then, the Jacobean tradition has been gaining more and more strength with pilgrimages from all over Europe, keeping its extraordinary covening power alive.


Doing the Camino de Santiago is not an essential requirement to celebrate the Jubilee or receive the plenary indulgence, although numerous pilgrims use this occasion to undertake this experience for the first time and enter the Cathedral of Santiago through the Holy Door, once they finish their pilgrimage, which can only be done during holy years.

Reasons for doing the Camino de Santiago:

  • A holy year occurs only 14 times per century. It has been eleven years since the last one, so it is expected to be of great importance, attracting a vast number of people.
  • The Camino de Santiago is one of the most important pilgrimages in the world.
  • It is a global reference. Its growth capacity, its services and accommodation infrastructure and its signalling system make the Camino de Santiago a blueprint for other pilgrimage routes, such as the Kumano Kodo in Japan, whose representatives come here to learn, as part of their development.
  • A pilgrimage is an alternative way of travelling.
  • During the Jubilee, the Catholic Church has the power to grant forgiveness of all sins to the faithful who visit Apostle James’ tomb (plenary indulgence).
  • You can enter the cathedral through the Holy Door. The opening ceremony will take place on the 31st of December 2020 and the door will remain open until the 31st of Dember of the Jacobean Holy Year 2021.
  • Positive values. The Camino is characterised by its hospitality, welcome, multiculturalism, etc., which expand naturally to the Jubilee.
  • The number of Pilgrim’s Masses increases and the Botafumeiro operates every Sunday.
  • Positive experiences. Pilgrims are our best ambassadors. 98,76% of those surveyed would recommend to do the Camino de Santiago.
  • People who undertake this pilgrimage make a very positive assessment of their experience in the Camino, grading it with a 9,58 out of 10.
  • There is a very high level of security and safety.
  • The Camino and the Jubilee are vehicles for dialogue and interaction from a social or religious point of view.
  • Galicia is worth visiting, rich in scenery, gastronomy and hospitality.
  • During Compostelan holy years, there are more resources directed to the Camino, paying special attention to improving services.
  • Creation of a joint programme of activities across all the regions of the Camino, based on the importance of the Jacobean heritage and its role throughout history: concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions of different types…
  • Often, a pilgrimage marks a turning point in a person’s life: for their motivation, the spiritual reflection process experimented or for serving as a backdrop for life-changing decision making.
  • If we have persuaded you and you are thinking of starting your pilgrimage in the Jubilee 2021, we invite you to discover the different routes of the Camino de Santiago in our website.

    We expect a significant increase in the number of pilgrims during the Jubilee 2021, so we strongly recommend to plan your Camino in advance.

    If you still have any doubts or wish to receive a personalised proposal, please leave your contact details in our website and we will provide you with all the information you need.

    Make the Camino de Santiago an unforgettable experience!

    ¡Ultreia peregrino!

    Plan your adventure!

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