WHERE: Bruges, Belgium
WHEN: 18 May 2023
Since the XIII century, the Holy Blood Procession has become a full member of the history and tradition of the splendid Bruges. It is a historical event that is repeated every year, from 1304, on Ascension Day, exactly 40 days after Easter. This year, the festival falls on the 18th May 2023.
This is one of the most popular events in all of Belgium; a procession in costume that recalls some episodes narrated 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 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, which 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.
Photo, 2009 Smabs Sputzer
By plane, you can reach Bruges by landing at the airport Brussels-National, or Charleroi. By train, from the airport, and numerous European destinations, you can easily reach the Brugge train station.
The ceremony takes place along the streets of the center, easily accessible by public transport. From here, all the information to move around the city by public transport. Who wants to attend the Procession free, is invited to anticipate a couple of hours from the start of the show.
Here is the updated program of the 2023 edition.
The Procession crosses the streets of the historic center, following this path:
Dijver – Gruuthusestraat – Guido Gezelleplein – Mariastraat – Simon Stevinplein – Steenstraat – Zuidzandstraat – ’t Zand – Hauwerstraat – Maagdenstraat – Smedenstraat -‘ t Zand – Noordzandstraat – Geldmuntstraat – Markt.
You can watch for FREE when the show passes, wherever you want. Alternatively, the stands are set up in the main square, where you can watch the show sitting. In this case, you must purchase the appropriate ticket to reserve your numbered seat. The ticket costs 12,00€ for the grandstand and 4,00€ for the benches. Tickets can be purchased online from mid-March on the official website of the event.
Guest House Adonis it’s the top solution. If you are lucky enough to find a room available, do not miss it.
Guest house Adonis is located in the historic center of Bruges, 300 meters from the market square and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
Rooms have a TV and a private bathroom outside the room. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. You will be lucky enough to stay in the historic center, spending just over €50 per night, for a double room. From this link, info and reservations.
The program, timetable and all information contained herein are for information purposes only and are not to be considered OFFICIAL.
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