Traditional December banquet stands cancelled pertaining to COVID-19: Nobel Foundation

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional December banquet organised by the Nobel Foundation stands cancelled. On July 21, the Nobel Foundation, which manages the Nobel Prizes made the announcement that pertaining to the nature of the pandemic, this year’s award ceremonies would be held in “new forms”.

The Nobel Prize award ceremony is held every year on December 10, that marks the death anniversary of the prizes’ founder Alfred Nobel. The announcement of the prizes (Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics) would be held as scheduled between October 5 and October 12 October, the Nobel Foundation said.

In an official statement, Lars Heikensten, Director of the Nobel Foundation, said, “The Nobel Week will not be as it usually is due to the current pandemic. This is a very special year when everyone needs to make sacrifices and adapt to completely new circumstances.”

Stressing on the “new forms” and “different ways” of giving away awards, Lars Heikensten hinted that prize winners would receive their awards in their home countries or at embassies.

The traditional banquet marks the end of the so-called Nobel Week, when the year’s prize-winners are invited to Swedish capital Stockholm for talks and the award ceremony. Traditionally, the prize-winners join the Swedish royal family and some 1,300 guests for the banquet at Stockholm’s City Hall after the award ceremony. The Nobel Foundation has iterated that ever since 1956, this is the first time that the lavish banquet has been cancelled.

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