Thousands of people thronged the streets of Manila, capital of the Philippines, on Tuesday. It?
Thousands of people thronged the streets of Manila, capital of the Philippines, on Tuesday. It was the annual procession of the Black Nazarene -- the occasion when a statue of a Black Christ is pulled through the streets and the country's devout Catholics struggle to touch it for luck.
The people believe the statue has miraculous powers. It is also reputed to give virility to young men. Simply touching the long ropes used to pull the statue is said to be sufficient to obtain a mystic blessing. But it is the statue itself which is supposed to give the greatest benefits, and every year people are hurt in the frantic crush to touch it.
The procession lasts about eight hours. It eventually winds into the Plaza Miranda, where the statue is carried into the Quiapo Church for a Mass which ends the festival.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of people with candles thronged the streets of Manila, capital of the Philippines, this week.
It was an annual celebration in which people try to obtain a blessing which will bring them good luck for a whole year. The object of their devotion is a statue depicting a black Christ carrying a cross. The status is said to have miraculous powers. Young men are particularly keen to touch it, because this is said to guarantee them added virility.
Even the long ropes used to pull the statue are reputed to have magic powers. People are often injured in the crush to touch the statue during the eight-hour procession.