Fear over the spread of the new coronavirus disease has disrupted another big religious event in the country.
Cebu City’s local government and Church officials have cancelled major religious activities for the “Fiesta Señor” in January 2021 due to the pandemic.
In a joint advisory, the officials said some “Sinulog”-related events, except the Novena Masses, will not be observed to avoid mass gatherings.
- Penitential walk with Jesus
- Penitential walk with Mary
- “Traslacion,” or transfer, of the images of the Santo Niño and our Lady of Guadalupe from Cebu City to Mandaue City, and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City
- Fluvial procession and the reenactment of the first baptism, planting of the cross, and first wedding
- Solemn procession
- Proposed Cebu provincial pilgrimages
“Moreover, there will be no alternative mobility around the city, such as motorcades as a substitute for the aforementioned religious activities,” read the advisory.
Authorities said the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu will reschedule the activities to the upcoming 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sto. Niño image in April 2021.
Asking for understanding, the authorities said necessary precautions have to be taken to protect the health of the devotees.
“Let us keep the Holy Child in our hearts and ask for His everlasting compassion as we heal as one,” read the advisory.
The “Sinulog” is an annual festival in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus held every January, drawing millions of devotees and tourists to central Philippine city of Cebu.
In Manila, city and Church officials have earlier cancelled the Black Nazarene procession in January 2021, an event that usually attracts millions of devotees.