Friday, January 09, 2009

Feast of The Black Nazarene

Today is the feast of the Black Nazarene. On TV, the streets from Laguna to Quiapo were PACKED with people! As in! There was this moving, squirming throng of people that led the Black Nazarene float; it was just jaw-dropping to see the amount of people packed in such a small space. Towels were being thrown up to the people with the statue, who'd wipe the statue with them, then throw the towels back down to the throng.

From Wikipedia:
The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ held to be miraculous by many people, especially its Filipino devotees. Its original carver is an anonymous Aztec carpenter, and the image was transported by galleon from Mexico. The image is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila where novena celebrations are held every Friday throughout the whole year. Roman Catholic tradition holds that the Black Nazarene came from a boat that caught fire, turning it from its original white into black or charred complexion. The Black Nazarene is carried into the streets for procession in a "Caroza" or carriage.
Check out this awesome photo by Marvin Maning:

I later learned that the statue was forcefully diverted to go to Quiapo instead of following some new route the bishops and priests had planned. Apparently, many rich Chinese had paid the people leading the Black Nazarene to do this. It is considered lucky (read that as "fortune will come to") if the Black Nazrene passes by your house, luckier if it faces your house, and luckiest if the statue is made to bow or nod towards your house!

Yup, learning something new everyday, I say!

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