This coming year 2021 will be Xacobeo year. The holy years are very special years for pilgrims, as they are a culminating year for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. During the Xacobeo, the Way of St. James is dressed in its best clothes, it is full of events and the Cathedral of Santiago waits with its Holy Door open to welcome all pilgrims.

So now you know, if you were thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago, 2021 is your year! Here we tell you everything you need to know about the Xacobeo year.

Holy Year, Jubilee Year and Xacobean Year

Holy Year, Compostelan Holy Year, Jubilee Holy Year, Xacobeo, Jacobeo... surely you have heard some of these names before, right? Well, they all come to mean the same thing, the year in which the 25th of July (the day of St. James the Apostle) falls on a Sunday. Its origin dates back to the late medieval period. It is very important, because it is an event that only happens once every five, six or eleven years; and when the last year of a century is not a leap year, the Xacobeo is every seven or twelve years.

That’s the rule, but there’s always an exception that proves the rule, right? Well, in this case it was not going to be less. Last year 2016 was not a Xacobean year per se, but even so Pope Francis decided to proclaim that year as a Jubilee Year of Mercy, producing with his proclamation that all the Holy Doors of the world were opened. A truly unprecedented situation.

All the journeys of the Camino de Santiago by bike
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The Jubilee Year lasts a full year. It is inaugurated with the opening of the Holy Door on December 31 of the previous year (in this case December 31, 2020) and lasts until the end of the coming year.

The Holy Door

If you are not a person of faith, you are probably wondering what the Holy Door is and what it means. Well, a note of ecclesiastical culture for ev