The Catalan government has given the green light to one of the Christmas events which is most longed for by children all over Catalonia. Children, and adults as well, will be able to go out to receive their Majesties, the Three Kings of the Orient, when they parade through the streets on January 5th, despite the significant increase in coronavirus cases being registered currently in Catalonia, which has led to tight restrictions. The permission given to the kings, traditional bearers of festive season gifts in Catalonia, is based on a document from the Catalan government which, according to the television station Betevé, outlines a series of requirements to make the parades safe.
Two possible celebrations
Specifically, the document specifies that there can be two types of festivities to greet the arrival of the Reis, the Kings: static and moving. If a moving parade is held, as in the case of large cities like Barcelona, it is recommended that the route be extended. This will make it easier to spread out the public less densely along the route and avoid congestion. The department calls for the route used by the floats to avoid narrow streets and to be based on the city's broadest avenues.
On the other hand, there are static celebrations. In this case, the government's department of culture calls for the establishment of controls over access and mobility areas in order to prevent crowding. In addition, the document specifies that, whenever possible, differentiated entry and exit points should be established. If necessary, time slots for access should be set.
"In both the parades and other Christmas activities, it is the responsibility of the organizers and the spectators to avoid crowding," the Catalan government said in the document, a duty which applies regardless of the method used to receive their Majesties in the manner that they deserve.
Mayor Colau's request
Hours earlier, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, had stated that she was confident that the city could celebrate the traditional procession for the Three Kings despite the new restrictions against Covid in Catalonia. In an interview with radio station SER Catalunya, the mayor affirmed that everything is prepared for the January 5th parade, but she has asked the government to clarify the situation. "I know that all the municipalities in Catalonia are the same and have asked for the same clarification," said Colau.
A few days ago, amidst the arrival of this sixth wave of the coronavirus, and with the forecast that the month of January will be "complicated", in the words of Catalan president Pere Aragonès, there were some experts who asserted that, "out of consistency", the government also had to suspend this traditional celebration. "Measures must be consistent and balanced. If we close down the nightlife sector, we must be consistent and cancel the parades as well." This week, epidemiologist Oriol Mitjà has stated this view.