Frank Toussaint

Bruges Holy Blood Procession axed due to corona

The Procession of Holy Blood in Bruges has been added to the long, long list of events and festivities that will not be going ahead this year.  The pageant in which a relic containing the blood of Christ is paraded through the streets of the fair city of Bruges was supposed to take place on 21 May 2020.  It has now been moved to 13 May 2021.

The Procession of Holy Blood is an annual Roman Catholic festivity staged on Ascension Day with roots in the Middle Ages that attracts thousands of visitors from at home and abroad.  It also features on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. Due to the extension of corona measures the pageant will never be ready in time.

“It’s a mass spectacle with 2,000 participants and 40,000 spectators” explains coordinator Matthieu Clarysse. “Organising the event now didn’t seem a very sensible idea.”

The procession has wended its way through the medieval streets of the West Flemish capital since 1304.

“Only the Wars of Religion, French occupation during the Napoleonic era and the two World Wars have ever disrupted the pageant” says Bruges Mayor De Fauw.

The corona emergency is now being added to that list. People with tickets will be contacted by the organisers.

Kurt Desplenter

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