The grand part of an old religious celebration by the community at Our Lady of Guidance Church on Lazarus Church Road is the car procession on the eve of the feast of saint Lazarus celebrated on a Sunday.
This year, the procession takes place this evening after Holy Mass.
But it will be toned down due to pandemic regulations – people have been asked not to join the procession, fireworks skipped and street hawkers restrained.
But the old tradition will continue. Nine cars will be in the procession. Years ago, there were only three but over time, families have donated statues of various saints and cars increased.
Recalls F. J. Vincent, San Thomite and a senior member of the Trust that manages this fest, “We had three cars to start with and all the statues were imported. In normal times, the procession ends only at midnight because the cars stop at every home of the parish people.”
Vincent belongs to the third generation of a small group of people who have curated this festival closely; recalling the times when he first participated in it in the 1940s.
The statues of saint Michael, saint Santiago, saint Roche, saint Sebastian, saint Francis Xavier, saint Anthony, saint Joseph, saint Lazarus and of Mother Mary are set in decorated cars for the procession.
But this year, Vincent says the decorations of flowers and illumination has been toned down too.
- Photo here is from the MT archives