By Oisin Sweeney • 01 December 2020 • 7:04
SEVILLE’s Christmas lights will be turned on ‘without warning’ to avoid crowds of onlookers as seen in Madrid and Malaga over the weekend.
The mayor of the Andalusian capital, Juan Espadas, said that ‘we prefer to be cautious’ and warned that ‘it will not be just another Christmas’ this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditionally Seville turns on its lights across the city on November 27th, which coincides with Black Friday. However, to deter people from gathering on the streets this year, the lights will now be turned on without any warning.
It will be the first year in recent history that the festival of Immaculate Conception, which is historically significant to Seville, will take place without the lights. It is possible that the city will turn them on to coincide with potential restriction lifts on December 9th, though Espadas says that the issue of ‘controlling flow of people on the streets’ remains ‘complex’. Over the weekend photos of huge crowds at Christmas light events in Madrid and Malaga sparked controversy online.
The mayor pointed out that the lights are designed to accompany locals enjoying their December evenings shopping and dining, which will be reduced this year due to Covid concerns. They may pose a risk to public health if they coincide with businesses being allowed to remain open past 6 PM when most Sevillians finish work.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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