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Fears for Holy Week processions as major events are postponed

The red carpet being packed away outside the Cervantes theatre this week.
The red carpet being packed away outside the Cervantes theatre this week. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • The Malaga Film Festival was put off at the last minute as other cultural events start to be hit

Forthcoming major events across the Costa and the rest of Spain started to be cancelled this week. This included the key Malaga Film Festival and the annual Fallas celebration in Valencia. The knock-on effect on tourism and hospitality businesses was likely to be severe as the country braced itself to see if early April’s Holy Week religious processions would be affected.

On Tuesday, organisers took the decision to suspend the Malaga Film Festival which was due to start today, Friday 13. The major international event celebrates the latest Spanish-language films and many attendees travel from Madrid, the area of Spain worst affected by coronavirus. Organisers said they would try for another date soon.

Events called off

The festival was not alone as major events have also been cancelled across Spain. Hours later, the final days of the annual Fallas celebrations of large colourful satirical statues in the streets of Valencia were called off, to the anger of groups putting the finishing touches to their creations.

The coronavirus pandemic is already affecting brotherhoods preparing for Holy Week starting on 5 April ahead of Easter.

In Andalucía, the regional government has so far said it sees no reason to suspend events, but some brotherhoods in Malaga are starting to change their usual preparatory processions and rehearsals.

The head of one brotherhood that put off an event this week said, “It’s a big responsibility and we prefer to cancel everything that brings together a lot of people.”