Millions of Filipinos are unstoppable for the Feast of the Black Nazarene

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is now happening in the Philippines, January 9, 2018.

The Traslación of the Black Nazarene makes its way along the streets of Quiapo, with attendees reaching up to 12 million. In recent years a persistent misconception has the Traslación being repeatedly referred to as mostly the "Feast of the Black Nazarene" and sometimes the "Feast of Quiapo," which despite from the chaotic yet festive atmosphere are far from correct: the Black Nazarene's liturgical feast day is on Good Friday (the second day of the year on which the image is processed). Quiapo Church’s official, parochial feast day is on June 24 (concurrent with Manila Day), the birthday of its titular, John the Baptist.

As per custom, the Black Nazarene leaves the Minor Basilica a day or two before the annual procession, either in a public fashion or clandestinely. Since 2016, the procession begins at around 05:30 AM after a solemn Midnight Mass at the Quirino Grandstand, followed hours later by Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. It ends in Quiapo in the late night of the same day or early the following morning, depending on how long the image has traveled. Some participants choose to wait for the image inside the Minor Basilica to greet it, while most devotees walk throughout the whole processional route. All devotees wear maroon and yellow like the image, and they walk barefoot as a form of penance and in emulation of Christ's walk to Golgotha. Authorities estimate that over 500,000 devotees strode barefoot in the 2013 procession, which was attended by 9 million people.Attendees include families of devotees, tourists, and members of devotees' associations throughout the country and overseas, all carrying their long estandartes (religious gonfalon) usually colored maroon or white and embroidered in gold and emblazoned with the image and the association name.

Not only the ordinary people are joining this tradition every year but also the celebrities who have been devotees of the Nazareno like Coco Martin, Angeline Quinto, Bayani Agbayani, Nolie de Castro and Christopher de Leon.

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