As curb-free Easter processions return to Spain, crowds plummet in Seville

As curb-free Easter processions return to Spain, crowds plummet in Seville ...

SEVILLE, April 15 (Reuters) - For the first time since the COVID-19 epidemic began, crowds thronged the streets of Seville as one of Spain's most iconic Easter processions wound its way through the city from midnight free of social distancing restrictions.

Penitents wear pointed black hoods while carrying a float of the Virgin of Hope of Macarena from the city's cathedral, known as La Madruga or The Dawn.

"We were waiting for the pandemic to apologise for these kinds of events. Of course, La Macarena is the most marvellous thing there is," Ignacio Suarez, a truck driver, told Reuters shortly after the procession.

Tens of thousands of people are usually invited to parades in the city during the Holy Week, where centuries-old brotherhoods of the faithful carry effigies of Christ or the Virgin Mary filled with candles and flowers.

The majority of Spain's traditional Easter processions have been canceled since 2020 due to the epidemic.

At the start of the epidemic, the country imprisoned one of the world's most stringent freezes, but most restrictions have been gradually retold due to COVID infection levels following a comprehensive vaccination program.

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