Bogotá orchestra helps light up Monserrate basilica for Christmas

Bogotá, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Musicians from the Philharmonic Youth Chamber Orchestra lit up the inauguration of the Christmas light display at the iconic Monserrate Sanctuary on Saturday with a concert that was followed on digital platforms due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On one of the most important tutelary hills in the Colombian capital, the traditional lights were turned on and the orchestra, conducted by Leonardo Federico Hoyos, played to the small audience.

The few people who were able to attend the venue appeared delighted with the baroque and romantic repertoire, which included songs such as “Christmas Concerto,” by the Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli, and “Little Drummer Boy.”

“The lighting is very beautiful, it is in line with what we, the Bogota people, are. It is beautiful, Monserrate is very well lit,” Diego Castillo, one of the visitors, told EFE.

For Castillo and his wife, who visit this imposing hill every year as one of their favorite festive activities, it was a surprise to find the musicians playing among the scene of lights shaped like butterflies, angels, flowers and stars.

“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, people have not been able to enjoy these festivities to the fullest, but I see that they wear their masks. It is about keeping social distancing and enjoying it to the fullest,” Castillo said.

Monserrate is one of the most important local destinations for the Catholic faith and for pilgrimages.

It is a sanctuary visited by thousands of parishioners to ask for forgiveness or give thanks to the Fallen Lord, a statue that was carved in wood by the Spaniard Pedro de Lugo Albarracín.

Bogota officially turned on its Christmas lighting on Nov. 29 with a cultural program that, in addition to this Saturday concert, includes more than 2,000 artistic events and reading activities that take place amid strict security measures to avoid coronavirus infections. EFE-EPA


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