A Wrecking Ball of Incense

Today, I watched a video of something that I never knew existed.

That something is called El Botafumeiro, a 5 foot tall thurible (incense burner) that hangs in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. It weighs roughly 180 pounds, can be filled with almost 90 pounds of incense and charcoal, and is operated by 8 full-grown men. When it is swinging throughout the Cathedral, it reaches speeds of up to 40 mph. It has been a staple of this Cathedral for hundreds of years.

According to Wikipedia (arguably the finest source of information available), El Botafumeiro has been involved in more than a few accidents. To be honest, when you fill a wrecking ball (or its equivalent) with burning charcoal and incense and then swing it at 40 mph through a room filled with people, you can expect things to go wrong from time to time.

I’m trying to decide on a catchy nickname for the beast…perhaps The Terrible Thurible?

Feel free to make suggestions if you have them. In the meantime, I leave you with a video:

El Botafumeiro


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