Organisation and coordination
Organising the Procession of the Holy Blood requires a great deal of hard work. We have a group of volunteers who are committed to turning this event into a success. The coordinator and deputy coordinator keep a tight hold of the reins and focus on all the practical issues which affect the procession. The director is responsible for the dialogues, scenes and setups. We also have people in place who are responsible for the music, the choreography, the horses …
Some employees will ensure the props and floats are all in good order, others will be designing the costumes, whilst the seamstresses work hard at realising these … Rehearsals will be taking place for three weeks before the event. Those responsible for groups will be recruiting extras for groups and procession commissioners will ensure everything along the route runs smoothly.
In addition to financial support, the city of Bruges will also be providing us with highly valued logistical cooperation from various different agencies and services (police, tourism services, licencing, organising, environment, road services …).
Extras, animals and floats
The Procession of the Holy Blood is more than a biblical and historic evocation of 1,700 participants. Several generations of Bruges residents, represented by all social strata, have given shape to this ancient annual tradition. Some families form part of a particular group with all of their family members, others opt for spreading themselves across various different groups. Eighty percent of all participants take part every single year. This has resulted in some participants completing the procession for 10, 20 and even up to 50 years or more.
The procession also includes 50 horses, 18 draught horses, 6 camels, 6 donkeys, some 80 sheep, 1 ox, 6 birds of prey and a number of chickens.
A total of 13 floats also participate with the procession, which have certainly given it a unique character. They have been especially designed and built for the procession.
The procession in figures
- The procession includes 1,700 extras.
- The youngest participant is between 3 and 5 months old (baby Jesus in the manger). The oldest participant is more than 80 years old.
- A total of 250 musicians participate with the procession. Hundreds of instruments are used.
- 850 procession participants will have a wig or a beard. Some of these wigs have been especially made for the procession.
- An impressive 250 pairs of shoes and 100 pairs of gym shoes are polished during the days leading up to the procession.
- 1,200 extras will have their faces painted by a team of 50 people, all within a 3 hour period.
- Every makeup artist has two boxes of foundation, powder, lipstick, blusher, eyeliner, brushes and sponges.
- 120 palm branches are especially flown in from Italy.
- Four seamstresses will be checking more than 1,200 costumes over the course of a month and will be repairing or altering these where necessary.
- The procession is also an event full of animals: 50 horses, 18 draught horses, 6 camels, 6 donkeys, some 80 sheep, 1 ox, 6 birds of prey and a number of chickens will also be coming along.
- The procession will be coloured by 13 floats, which give shape to the spectacle.