The Pentecost Pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó (Şumuleu-Ciuc) can take place, announced Hunor Kelemen, the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ) on Monday. Kelemen, who is also one of the two deputy prime ministers in the cabinet lead by Prime Minister Florin Cîţu, pointed out that the coalition government has consented to the request of the RMDSZ, allowing the organization of pilgrimages and similar religious events.
There will be some guidelines by the end of the week from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture for the organizers and participants of the Csíksomlyó event, and it is likely that the number of attendees will be limited. The rules for participation will be published in due time, the Székelyhon.ro news portal wrote.
Traditionally, the ceremonial Pentecost Pilgrimage Mass is celebrated at the shrine built in the pass between the Kis- and Nagysomlyó mountains on the fourth Saturday of May, which falls on May 22 this year.
While last year, only a private Pentecost Mass could be held in Csíksomlyó due to the pandemic-induced epidemiological restrictions, this year, pilgrimages are no longer on the list of forbidden events. “The Pentecost Pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó can take place this year. It is a highly important event for our community, regardless of one’s denomination; it is also the largest celebration of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. Honoring the request of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gyulafehérvár (Alba-Iulia), upheld by the RMDSZ, the government has decided that pilgrimages can be organized while respecting the epidemiological rules,” Kelemen said.
The Pentecost Pilgrimage of Csíksomlyó has become the most significant religious and national holiday of all Hungarians, with more than half a million pilgrims taking part in it each year — from Transylvania and all around the world. Last year, the event and also the shrine of Csíksomlyó were declared a “Hungarikum,” acknowledging its unique, religious and community-building value to Hungary.
On Monday, the Cîţu government decided that as of May 13, the pandemic rules in Romania will be prolonged for another 30 days. Although the spread of the epidemic is on a downward trend, with the number of daily infections decreasing, the cabinet decided that it is still the best course of action to maintain the current regulations until June.
“Last year, we could only watch the Pentecost Mass on television and via internet broadcasts, but this year we can – though in smaller numbers – be present again in the saddle. The community of Csíkszereda has proven that even a larger event, like the traditional consecration of food baskets at Easter, could be organized in a disciplined manner, with respect to epidemiological regulations. I am convinced that the faithful, who are about to participate in the Pentecost Pilgrimage, will show the same respect to the rules,” pointed out Hunor Kelemen.
Title image: The photo was taken at the Pentecost Mass held in the pass between the Kis- and Nagysomlyó mountains in 2018.