CNA Staff, Jan 6, 2021 / 08:30 am
An estimated 2,500 Three Kings parades took place in Poland on Wednesday amid tight coronavirus restrictions.
The processions were significantly scaled back from last year, when 1.3 million people took part in the event, which commemorates the visit of the Magi, or wise men from the East, to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem.
Organizers believe that the annual parade, known in Polish as Orszak Trzech Króli, is typically the largest street nativity play in the world.
But this year mini-processions replaced the large-scale celebrations of previous years, with some parades held entirely online. Organizers encouraged Poles to consider holding family processions, singing carols in churches, and taking part in a Christmas carol social media challenge.
In some places, the Three Kings traveled on horseback from parish to parish. In others, car parades were organized. In the capital, Warsaw, the procession attracted 90,000 people last year. This year only five people took part, in compliance with coronavirus restrictions.
Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, director of the Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, said: “Most of the mini-processions were organized after the Holy Masses, in the form of caroling and a march in groups of five people, in accordance with the sanitary requirements.”
More than 1.3 million people in Poland have tested positive for COVID-19 and 30,055 have died as of Jan. 6, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.