The UN will honor the Colombian city of Popayan with a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage award, at a ceremony in Paris on Friday, for the recognition of the culturally revered ‘Semana Santa’ religious festivals held in the city.
The processions of Semana Santa have been held annually during the Easter period in Popayan since 1556.
On Friday October 16, to celebrate the UNESCO award, the Mayor of the city, who is in Paris at the ceremony, has invited the entire population of Popayan to rejoice in the success by participating in the cultural activities to be held in Caldas Park throughout the day. The Festivities are due to culminate in a great Mass at the Catedral Basilica at 6PM.
The President of the Semana Santa Board stated that “the honor reaches far beyond our city and puts us in the ‘eye’ of the world, it is also a key connecting us to cultures throughout the world,” reported newspaper El Liberal on Friday.
Members of the Business and Management Council of Cauca hope that the award will stimulate tourism to the region and in doing so, generate much needed employment opportunities for the local population in areas such as hospitality, craftwork, construction, and gastronomy.