Feast of the Black Nazarene
One of the most significant religious events, the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Philippines falls on 9th of January every year.
The Black Nazarene is a wooden, life-sized, dark-coloured sculpture of Jesus Christ carried by barefooted men during the feast. The venerated statue was brought to Manila by a priest back in 1606 and has been placed at Quiapo's Saint John the Baptist Church since 1787. Drawing thousands of disciples from all walks of life that come to participate in the procession, the feast takes place in Quiapo district.
A hub of commerce and trade, the Quiapo district considers the Black Nazarene as their patron saint. Thus the devotion to the Black Nazarene has been a time honoured practice in the district as well as among the Filipino Catholics as it stems from the general importance Filipino culture has for the Passion of Jesus. Devotees believe that their faith in Jesus will bring peace and harmony to their community as well as good health, prosperity and deliverance from disasters and calamities.
The procession held on the day of the feast commemorates the transfer of the statue, placed in a shoulder-borne gilded carriage, to its current shrine in Quiapo. As a sign of humility, most devotees walk barefooted and dress in the colour maroon.
On the day of the feast, an intense religious fervour grips the faithful as they strain to touch the Black Nazarene all hoping for a miracle.