The Day of Galicia, also known as the Day of the Galician Homeland, is the official holiday of the autonomous community of Galicia since 1979, and is celebrated on July 25th, the feast day of the Apostle Santiago.
The origins of this celebration goes back to 1919, when the Assembly of Irmandades da Fala meets in Santiago de Compostela, which agrees to celebrate the National Day of Galicia on July 25th of the following year. Since then, this day also celebrates the institutional act of the Offering to the Apostle, with a religious ceremony and a reception with the presence of the authorities of all Galicia.
It is a very special day in the capital of Galicia, in Santiago de Compostela, where from 15 to 31 July are organized concerts, exhibitions and diversity of activities. The central act is the fireworks show in honor of the Apostle on the night of July 24th in Obradoiro Square. In addition, in the last years, the show joins multimedia projections on the Raxoi Palace the more than 20.000 attendees to the event. On the 25th a solemn mass takes place in the Cathedral, where the King or a delegate of the Royal House makes the traditional offering to the Apostle Santiago. At this mass you can see the famous botafumeiro, a giant censer, traveling the temple cruiser while solemnly balancing and perfuming the entire incense ceremony, wrapping the whole scene in a mystical halo. And just the mere fact of attending this show is another unique experience.
Although the big days are the 24 and 25, during this festive fortnight there are dozens of cultural activities that stand out for their quality and diversity. Music of all styles, dance, theatre or verbenas invade Compostela. The traditional meeting of bands of music of all Galicia and the exhibitions of regional costumes and folkloric dances are another of the dates of these festivities, which close on the 31st with another fireworks show.
In addition, when the 25th of July matches Sunday, the Holy Year Compostela or Xacobeo Year is celebrated, which greatly increases the already large influx of pilgrims to the city.
It is, therefore, Santiago de Compostela, the undisputed protagonist of the Day of Galicia, due to its incomparable setting, with a Cathedral which, with its spectacular beauty, stands as one of the most important works of Romanesque art in Spain, keeping the Tomb of the Apostle and putting an end to all the pilgrimage routes to Santiago. That is why the party has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest. However, throughout the entire Galician community there are many celebrations that are intended to celebrate this day.
If you have the opportunity to approach the Galician capital at these dates, you will undoubtedly bring an extraordinary memory for posterity.
The celebration is unique!