PERIOD: 25 May 2017
PLACE: Bruges, Belgium.
It is a historical event that is repeated every year from the 1304 on the day of the Ascension (40 days after Easter). This is one of the most popular events in all of Belgium; a procession in costume that recalls some episodes narrating in the Bible and, in particular, the Passion of Christ.
Over the centuries, the ceremony has undergone substantial changes and reinterpretations, to obtain the current appearance.
Over two thousand people are involved in the 2017 Holy Blood Procession. There are choirs, dance groups, carriages and animals (camels, goats ...). To get an idea of how important this event has become, just think that it has been declared, in the 2009, Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Today, the ceremony is divided into four parts. In the first two, repeats from the Passion of Christ and scenes from the Old and New Testaments; the third part, staging the legend from which the whole ceremony takes its cue. It is described as the relic of the Sacred Blood of Jesus, reached Bruges thanks to the intervention of the Crusader Knight Theodoric of Alsace, Count of Flanders. According to the legend, it was during the fourth crusade, when Constantinople was invaded by the crusaders of Baldwin IX, that the precious relic was discovered, until then kept in ancient Byzantium; blood that Joseph of Arimathea managed to gather, while the body of Jesus was brought down from the cross.
In the last part of the ceremony, the concluding one, we witness the veneration of the relic.
PROGRAM OF THE 2017 Holy Blood Procession
08: 30 - 09: 30 Veneration of the Relic at the Basilica of the Holy Blood;
11: 00 Holy Mass and function at the Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur (Steenstraat);
14: 30 - 18: 00 Procession of the Holy Blood and passage along the points of the route;
18: 00 Blessing with the relic at the Bourg and finally at the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood, the main place of the ceremony, is located in the center, in the splendid Burg Square. It is easily accessible on foot and by the 88 and 91 buses, getting off at the bus stop Brugge Wollestraat. Getting around Bruges is quite simple. Practical information on prices and tickets, available at this link.
12,00 tribunes €; Benches: 4,00 €. Reserved and numbered seats.
Tickets can be purchased from mid-March online on the official website of the event.