In order to keep COVID-19 from spreading quickly, there will be no masses in-person for the 475th feast honoring the Sto. Niño (Child Jesus), the Fiesta Señor, in January. Instead, the traditional mass-slated for the third sunday of January-will be streamed online.
This announcement was made by Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu’s caretakers, the Augustinian fathers. They clarified that there would be no in-person Masses for the Fiesta Señor’s entire duration.
Instead, there will be ten online Masses streamed daily from January 7 to 16. Novena and fiesta Masses would be live on the YouTube channel and Facebook page of the basilica.
Fr. Nelson Zerda, the basilica’s rector, said this was a result of meetings with officials of Cebu City and government agencies.
Celebrating the feast in a secular manner happens through the weeklong Sinulog Festival, which culminates in a dance parade reminiscent of the mardi gras.
Devotees looking to offer prayers and light candles would be able to do so at the open-air Pilgrim Center of the basilica from 4:30AM to 7:30PM. On the other hand, the Sto. Niño de Cebu’s original image in the basilica will be off-limits.
The image was a gift to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521 by Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
2022’s Fiesta Señor and Sinulog Festival will be the first time in history wherein the two events will not have millions of people attending and celebrating.