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Yellow Arrows & Camino Symbols
To walk the Camino all you need to do is follow the yellow arrows. You will also find many scallop shell markers along the way.
Symbols of the Camino
Pilgrims pick up stones along the way to symbolize the burdens they intend to leave behind and add them to the piles atop each one. If you are walking and a worry comes into your head you should just pick up a stone and tell yourself that once you set it down you will leave it behind.
The yellow arrows: your guide on the road
Imagine a scenic route, marked by bright yellow arrows, leading you through forests, over hills and through charming villages. This is the Camino de Santiago.
These arrows, found on trees, rocks and signs, have their own fascinating history. They were designed in 1984 by Father Elías Valiña, who used yellow paint from roadworks. Now these arrows are not only guides, but also symbols of the adventure and community of the Camino.
Over many generations the scallop shell has become the main symbol for the Camino de Santiago. The shell is commonly found on the shores of Galicia near Santiago de Compostela. Some say that monks who were traveling The Camino in lieu of those who could not make the journey themselves would bring the shell back as proof that they had made it successfully.
Modern pilgrims attach the shell to their backpacks at the beginning of their pilgrimage as a symbol of their intent to reach Santiago.
The Cross of Saint James
The Cross of Saint James (seen here) and the Seal of the Templar Knights are two other common symbols on the Road to Santiago. Often you will see scallop shells adorned with one of these two signs.