Feast of the Black Nazarene
The Philippines is famous for its festivals and holidays that are celebrated every year. Among these festivals would be the Feast of the Black Nazarene. Every 9th of January, thousands and thousands of people come to Quiapo, Manila to be a part of this holy event. This day is indeed an attraction to look forward to, not only to those who are strong devotees of the Black Nazarene, but even to those who just want to experience the country’s largest single festival.
A procession will take place usually starting at the morning right after the mass. The route will depend as it changes each year, but expect the whole city to be on a heavy traffic throughout the day. Everyone is hoping to at least be able to touch the life-sized statue of Christ. People would walk through the streets barefooted, as they shout “Viva Senor!” This is recognized as a sign of humility. It is also a usual sight to see people wearing maroon-colored shirts, as this is portrayed to be the color of the Black Nazarene.
While most people would do everything just to be able to touch the statue, some would grab the rope of its carriage, and others would throw their towels or handkerchiefs in the air. People believed that doing so can give them miracles. Most devotees come to participate in this special event as a religious vow or tradition. Whether they’re praying for good health, healing from sicknesses, financial freedom or just anything, Catholics find the Feast of the Black Nazarene as a step closer to their prayers and wishes.
You will also see the surrounding houses and communities giving away free bottled water, food, and some would even cook enormously at home and feed several people who have joined the procession. Indeed, this day is not only a proof of how religious Filipinos are, but also, they have come to show how helpful and humble they can be at times like this.
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