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COVID-19 Coronavirus: Luxembourg, cancellation of Echternach hopping procession declared “Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO

The traditional hopping procession of Echternach will not take place this year. The religious and cultural event that takes place every year in this town of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the Pentecost season, which involves thousands of pilgrims joining in a prayer made of music and dancing, cannot comply with the social distancing protocol and no “alternative solution” has been found, the organising committee explained. This tradition, which in recent years has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, has such a degree of complexity that, under current circumstances, “we are forced to settle for a virtual performance”. So starting on Friday, 29 May, movies, documentaries and footage of the procession will be published on the websites and social media accounts of the event. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg will release a video with a reflection; a recording of the hopping procession tune by the “Harmonie Municipale d’Echternach” will also be published. On Pentecost Day, the Basilica, where the hopping procession usually ends, will be open for individual pilgrims. Due to the restrictions currently in place, however, there will be no public celebration of the Eucharist. The next hopping procession is scheduled for 25 May 2021.

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