Philippines cancels 'Black Nazarene' parade as pandemic lingers

The procession seen in the Philippines's capital in previous years usually lasts more than 20 hours. - Reuters

MANILA, Oct 23 (Reuters): The Philippine capital Manila on Friday cancelled an annual procession of a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ that draws millions of Roman Catholic devotees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to afflict the country.

The Philippines, renowned for its colourful religious rituals, has the second-highest number of Covid-19 (coronavirus) infections and deaths in South-East Asia behind Indonesia.

"The grand procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene in January 2021 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic," the city government of Manila said in a statement.

Millions of devotees, mostly in yellow and maroon shirts and walking barefoot, typically jostle to draw near a carriage bearing the life-sized image of the "Black Nazarene" shouldering a heavy cross.

The statue, carved in Mexico, is believed to have miraculous healing powers even to the slightest touch.

The procession, a tradition in the former Spanish colony that goes back more than two centuries, usually lasts more than 20 hours.

Manila, the country's coronavirus hotspot, is under partial quarantine restrictions until the end of October, with mass gatherings banned and social distancing measures imposed on public transport.

Cemeteries and columbaria have been ordered to close to prevent crowding during the All Saints' and All Souls' Day holidays starting in late October, while seating capacity in churches is currently capped at 30%.

The respiratory virus has infected 363,888 people and killed 6,783 in the Philippines.

About 80 per cent of the country's 107 million people identify as Roman Catholic given hundreds of years as a Spanish colony. - Reuters
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Aseanplus News

Covid-19: Thailand steps up contact tracing after three quarantine flouters test positive
PBOC says China must prevent fiscal deficit monetisation
China to force firms to report use of plastic in new recycling push
Over 4,000 people displaced after Indonesia's Ili Lewotolok volcano erupts
Covid-19: Hong Kong gets tough as fourth wave strikes
Poo may hold secret to tackling ageing: study
Thailand delays ‘old car for new car’ project
Myanmar's Yangon airport to stay closed to international flights
Former S.Korean president guilty of defamation over massacre
Trump to add China's SMIC and CNOOC to defence blacklist

Stories You'll Enjoy