Spectacular annual religious procession, a scene of fierce devotion
Largest religious procession in the world
Every year on January 9th, millions of devotees gather to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene. They take part in the spectacular religious procession known locally as the ‘Traslacion,” during which devotees carry a replica of the statue across Manila. In what is regarded as the single largest religious procession in the world the image makes a 14-hour journey through the narrow bridges and streets of Manila.A display of fierce devotion with people trying to get as close as they can. It does get crowded….
Why is the Black Nazarene so popular? Miracles have been reported of sick people being healed, crippled who can walk again. Others say that the image brings good luck and a gentle spirit. Whatever the reason, millions of Filipinos flock to the streets every year to honour the image.
Key players in the procession are the Hijos de Nazareno. Their task is to steer the carriage safely through the crowds and protect the image from harm. It’s not without danger - reportedly some Hijos have died in the line of duty - and not for everyone, membership of the Hijos is a great honour and traditionally hereditary.