Oct 23, 2020

More traditions keep on changing because of the pandemic, with the latest being the cancellation of next year’s grand procession for the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Every Jan. 9, millions of barefoot devotees flock to the streets of Manila City to see the 17th century life-sized image of the Black Nazarene in the religious parade called Traslacion. But this usual sight will be missing next year, as announced by the city government on Oct. 23. This is a preemptive measure to ensure the public’s health safety as cases of COVID-19 infection continue to proliferate. 

“The grand procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene in January 2021 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Manila Public Information Office (PIO) in a Facebook post. This decision was reached by both the city government and the officials of Quiapo Church, where the statue has been housed for decades.

BREAKING: The grand procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene in January 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic —Manila City gov’t, Quiapo Church

#AlertoManileno #COVID19PH

Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Thursday, October 22, 2020

“Nakikisuyo po ako, iwasan po muna natin ang mga parada at prusisyon ngayong may pandemya dulot ng sakit na COVID-19. Maaari pong mapahamak ang ating mga deboto, mailagay sila sa alanganin,” said Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno in a statement as well.

In lieu of the parade, Quiapo Church Rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said in the same statement that this year’s Feast of the Black Nazarene will be celebrated purely through masses for the devotees instead, with vicars stationed at the canopy outside the church.

The cancellation of Traslacion follows other major traditional observances for holidays in the country being disrupted by the pandemic. These include this year’s Undas, which sees a huge change as city governments announce the closure of public and private cemeteries to curb the potential spread of COVID-19. Christmas celebrations are also expected to take a hit this year, especially with parties for the holiday already declared prohibited for areas under general community quarantine.


Header photo from Katrina Hallare for Inquirer.net

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