Is your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela ending at the end of May? If so, you are in luck! At the end of May (and sometimes the beginning of June), Santiago hosts the Festas da Ascensión (Ascensión Festival) on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday. This festival is wonderfully authentic and one of the most important celebrations in the city.
What is Festas da Ascensión?
‘Festas da Ascensión’ is celebrated in Santiago de Compostela as a prelude to the Feast of Saint James, the patron saint of the city. Every year, on the sixth Thursday after Easter you can enjoy five days of festivities and cultural and recreational events.
During this event, visitors can mingle with locals and take a closer look at the human landscape of the Apostol city. Street entertainment, drama activities, concerts, parades, fireworks, fantastic food markets, and many cultural events are just some of the attractions that people can enjoy.
Although activities take place in different areas of the city, Alameda Park is one of the points where most people meet. There, visitors can have a portion of the traditional ‘pulpo a feira’ (Galician-style octopus) at the stands of the ‘pulpeiras’. Another main attraction to visit is the cattle market, the most characteristic and important of the city, along with riding displays, in the Amio showground.
In 2020 the ‘Ascensión’ was celebrated from the 20th of May to the 24th of May, however, most of the festivities were cancelled due to Coronavirus.
To give you an idea of what to expect in 2021 – here is the programme from the 2019 celebrations:
Thursday 30 May
DAY OF THE ASCENSION
12.30 pm. COMPARSA DE CABEZUDOS: Teatro Principal Tour through Rúa Nova, Praza das Praterías, Fonseca, Franco, Praza do Toural, Rúa Nova, Caldeirería, Praza de Abastos, Praza de Cervantes, San Agustín, Casas Reais, Rúa Travesa, Preguntoiro, Fonte Sequelo and Rúa Nova
12.30 pm. VERMOUTH SESSION “MARTIÑA SOÑADORA” [MUSIC IN FAMILY ]: Praza de Cervantes
1.00 pm. VERMOUTH SESSION BRASSICA RAPA [MÚSICA]: Praza de Cervantes
6.00 pm. CIRCO NO ATO “A SALTO ALTO” [CIRCUS]: Praza Roxa
FOLK ON THE STREET
Praza de Santo Agostiño: 6.00 pm. Brincadeira | 6.30 pm. Colexiata do Sar | 7.00 pm. Cantigas e Agarimos | 7.30 pm. Ultreia
Praza do Toural: 6.00 pm. Ultreia | 6.30 pm. Cantigas e Agarimos | 7.00 pm. Brincadeira | 7.30 pm. Colexiata do Sar
Praza de Cervantes: 6.00 pm. Cantigas e Agarimos | 6.30 pm. Ultreia | 7.00 pm. Colexiata do Sar | 7.30 pm. Brincadeira
Praza do Obradoiro: 6.00 pm. Colexiata do Sar | 6.30 pm. Brincadeira | 7.00 pm. Ultreia | 7.30 pm. Cantigas e Agarimos
Acibechería: 8.00 pm. Joint performance FOLK ON THE STREET
8.00 pm. MUNICIPAL BAND OF MUSIC & ODAIKO “Vaia Banda”: Praza das Praterías
10.00 pm. LORCA NAMORADO: Praza da Quintana | Free entry [Abe Rábade | Salvador Sobral | Kike Morente | Arcángel | Marcelo DoBode | Davide Salvado | Susana Seivane]
10.30 pm. ORCHESTRA SATÉLITES: Alameda
11.30 pm. GERMÁN DÍAZ AND BENXAMÍN OTERO “13 CANCIÓNS BONITAS” [MUSIC]: Praza do Toural | Free entry
09.30 am. Opening of inscriptions
COMPETITION `ANDADURA GALEGA DE TRADICIÓN´
10.00 am. Competition `andadura galega Serrada´
10.30 am. Competition `andadura galega Chapeada´
MORPHOLOGICAL COMPETITIONS OF PURE GALICIAN RACE
11.00 am. Morphological Competition of Pure Galician Race. Section stallions over 3 years.
11.30 am. Morphological Competition of Pure Galician Race. Section mares over 3 years.
MORPHOLOGICAL COMPETITIONS OF PONIS
12.00 pm. Morphological competition open to all races of ponies
MORPHOLOGICAL COMPETITION OF HORSES AND YEGUAS `PERCHERONES´
12.30 pm. Morphological Competition of Horses and yeguas `percherones´
1.00 pm. Awards and trophies
1.10 a 2.30 pm. Great equestrian show of dressage
2.30 pm. End of Cabalar Fair
Friday 31 May
1.00 pm. ZELTIA “IREVIRE” [MUSIC]: Praza de Cervantes | Free entry
6.00 pm. XLIII KEY TROPHY: Association `Xogadores da Chave de Santiago´ | Alameda (in front of the Santa Susana nursery)
6.30 pm. SWING WORKSHOP: Praza de Cervantes
6.30 pm. SAMBIOSIS. BATUCADA: Puente Castro – Xeneral Pardiñas | 7.00 pm. República do Salvador | 7.30 pm. Praza Roxa
8.30 pm. SWING: Praza de Cervantes | Free entry
9.00 pm. SUSANA SEIVANE: Praza da Quintana | Free entry
10.30 pm. ORCHESTRA DILEMA: Alameda
11.00 pm. BAIUCA LIVE BAND A/V SHOW [Alejandro Guillán | Xosé Lois Romero | Andrea Montero | Adrián Canoura] Praza da Quintana | Free entry
11.00 pm. NAJLA SHAMI “ELA SABE A SOL” [MÚSICA]: Praza do Toural | Free entry