Bonn Due to the corona pandemic, there have already been cancellations of St. Martins processions in the region. Meanwhile, Bonn's city dean Wolfgang Picken is seeking out alternatives to the big St. Martin's procession in Bonn.
St. Martin's processions, with hundreds of children moving through the streets closely bunched together, are more than problematic in these times of the corona pandemic. It is very difficult to maintain adequate social distancing during such processions, leading to the first ones being cancelled in Bonn and the region.
Bonn's city dean, Wolfgang Picken, who is responsible for the large St. Martin's procession that leads through Bonn city center, is also grappling with the question of whether or how the event could take place this year. "The problem here - just like with the other St. Martin's processions - is that social distancing must be guaranteed. This is difficult, especially in view of the fact that many children are taking part in the procession," said Picken in response to a GA inquiry.
Picken doesn't want to cancel St. Martin's in Bonn
But they don’t want to simply cancel the event. "We think it sends the wrong signal to not let St. Martin's take place even during these times of coronavirus." So the city deanery and leading clergy are looking for a new way forward. "Because right now it is all about being caring and showing mutual understanding", said Picken.
Local committees, kindergartens or schools from all city districts can contact church communities to develop alternative models. One possibility would be for the children to celebrate in different places - for example in the daycare centers - and for St. Martin to ride from location to location.
In the coming weeks, they will take a closer look at how the event could take place. But Picken is intent on St. Martin's Day not being cancelled this year because of the corona pandemic.
Orig. text: Michael Wrobel. Translation: ck