April 12, 2020 – A spectacular aerial view of the final moments of Za Krizen 2020 in Jelsa on the island of Hvar.
It has been quite an Easter weekend here in Jelsa with all the controversy of the Za Krizen procession taking place in the corona era.
Lots of opinions on both sides as to whether or not the procession – which has taken place every year for 500 years – should go ahead in the current situation.
Permission was given at Prime Ministerial level, and each of the six processions in Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirce, Vrbanj and Vrboska were restricted to 15 people, plus five additional singers, rather than the hundreds or thousands in normal years.
Due to the travel restrictions, not only were there no pilgrims, but also very few journalists. As I found myself as one of only four of them, I felt an obligation to take as much footage as I could, which was a good decision in retrospect, as what I physically saw on the ground was MUCH different to what was reported in the Croatian media second-hand. You can read the photo and video report of how the procession was controlled by the Hvar police and local authorities here. (There is also a Croatian language version, as well as a report on the actual processions through the night, and finally an edited tribute to each of the six cross bearers).
MyHvar was also out, which resulted in this beautiful aerial view of Jelsa at 06:00 on Good Friday morning, as the Jelsa procession returned home after a long night.
What is interesting to notice for those who outraged at the supposed mass social distancing violations (yes, there were some, but I looked at this topic at length in the photo and video report on the link above), not only was nobody following the procession (there were a couple of thousand people last year), but note how far apart the local people are on the left as the procession goes by, as well as how empty the main square was. A really good video which will be appreciated by many.
And enjoy the video, beautifully shot. Ironically, while this year’s Za Krizen procession was attended by so few, technology in the form of the webcams from the church and the pjaca, the videos I uploaded through the night and the more polished ones edited by Miranda Milicic Bradbury the following day (see Jelsa arrival and subsequent departure to St John’s Square in her video below) ensured that perhaps more people than ever took place in this iconic procession.
To learn more about the Za Krizen procession, check out the dedicated link.