• Posted:Friday, November 6, 2009
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Posted in: Travel
Be in Amsterdam for the Miracle festival
If you happen to be staying in an Amsterdam hostel in March next year, or indeed any year to come, something that should be taking the number one spot on your list of things to do is the Miracle Procession, which sees people from all over converge on the city on the Wednesday after March 12th for festival week. The Silent Procession is the big draw and residents and holidaymakers hop on buses to get to the centre of Amsterdam in time to congregate in one of the parish churches prior to embarking on the pilgrimage.

It's not called 'silent' for nothing and one of the defining characteristics of this festival activity is that it is done in total quiet, with no loud prayers or songs. If you think you might be walking all night though, don't worry too much as it takes around an hour to complete the circuit, although it does take place between midnight and 04:00 local time so be sure to wrap up warm. March is barely just out of winter, remember.

Apparently, the march began many moons ago in 1345, with a man suffering from a serious illness laid up in bed. After he had been administered the Host by a priest, he was sick everywhere and his vomit was then thrown on the fire. As legend goes, the next day the Host was found in the ashes completely intact, whereupon it was removed to the church. But the Host somehow managed to find its way back to the house on two other occasions, eventually leading to a chapel being built on site.

Also, don't forget to check out the postcard exhibition that I mentioned in a previous blog while you're on holiday in Amsterdam - I really want to know what it's like!

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