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Cancelled due to COVID: Black Nazarene Procession that Draws Millions

It's one of the biggest in the world.
by Joel Guinto
Oct 23, 2020
Devotees try to touch the statue of the Black Nazarene during the annual religious procession in Manila on Jan. 9, 2020. Swarms of barefoot believers thronged a revered icon of Jesus Christ on January 9 in Manila for a slow-moving and raucous procession considered one of the world's largest shows of Catholic fervor.
Photo/s: Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

(UPDATE) The Traslacion will skip a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila on Jan. 9 next year is cancelled, the Manila City government said Friday.

Millions  of devotees, some barefoot, throng the capital's old quarter, Quiapo for the annual procession, hoping to see or touch a dark wood image of Jesus Christ, believing in its miraculous powers. Made of dark wood, the Black Nazarene was brought to Manila from Mexico in the 1600s and Filipinos felt an affinity with it because of its color.

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The Traslacion refers to the procession that returns a replica of the Black Nazarene to its home, Quiapo Church, from Qurino Grandstand by Manila Bay, where an overnight vigil is held. Thick crowds line up its path, with some clambered onto bridges and lamp posts.

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The city government's announcement did not say what will happen to the broader Black Nazarene feast, of which, the Traslacion is the highlight.

Under current quarantine rules, churches and mosques can accept worshippers only up to 30% capacity. Lines 1 and 2 of the LRT that criss-cross in Quiapo district can only accomodate up to 30% capacity on their trains. Jeepney services are limited.

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