Asia

Black Nazarene procession draws 1.5 million to Manila

Filipino Roman Catholic devotees climb the carriage to kiss and rub with their towels the image of the Black Nazarene. Manila, Philippines, Monday 9 January 2017. Image copyright AP

Around 1.5 million devotees have turned out for a huge annual Roman Catholic procession in Manila.

Each year, a centuries-old wooden statue of Jesus Christ, called The Black Nazarene, is paraded through the Philippine capital.

This year, police and foreign embassies advised attendees to be on alert for possible terror attacks.

The Black Nazarene and cross on a carriage, surrounded by thousands of devotees. 9 January 2017, Manila, Philippines. Image copyright AP
Image caption The dark wood statue of the Black Nazarene is thought to have been brought to the Philippines by missionaries from Mexico in 1606.
Huge crowds of Filipino devotees jostle to reach the statue of the Black Nazarene during the procession in Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Charred, it survived a fire that destroyed the ship that carried it, as well as later earthquakes and World War Two bombings - making some think it has miraculous powers.
Thousands of Filipino devotees carry the statue of the Black Nazarene during the annual religious procession in Manila. 9 January 2017. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The statue began its tour of the city early in the morning at the Quirino Grandstand.
Huge crowds pack the Jones Bridge as the statue passes across it. Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Crowds of devotees followed the statue, which is also paraded on Good Friday, through the old commercial centre of Manila.
Filipino Roman Catholic devotees raise their hands in prayer during a procession to celebrate the feast day of the Black Nazarene on 9 January in Manila, Philippines Image copyright AP
Image caption People believe that the statue has healing powers and can cure ailments or convey good fortune.
Filipino Roman Catholic devotees cling to the cross as it is paraded. Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright AP
Image caption As the procession - called the traslacion - makes its way through the city, people scramble over each other to touch the statue.
A devotee (centre) is carried by colleagues after collapsing due to exhaustion. 9 January 2017, Manila, Philippines. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The event results in many injuries every year - this man collapsed from exhaustion.
A young woman is carried aloft and away from the crush by the crowd. Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Philippine Red Cross said it had treated about 1,200 people for minor ailments and injuries.
A fire hose douses the crowd with water. Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Volunteer fire fighters doused the crowd with water to cool them down in the Manila heat.
Special Action Force policemen on the roof of a building in Manila, Philippines (9 Jan 2017) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Security was tight along the route, with officials warning that extremists could attempt to avenge the death of Islamist militant leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid. He was killed by police last week.
Long-exposure photograph showing huge crowds around the carriage. Manila, Philippines, 9 January 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Thousands of police lined the streets, jamming mobile phone signals and banning guns, drones and backpacks from the area.
Filipino families push prams, one of which contains a child and two others replicas of the statue. Manila, Philippines. 9 January 2017. Image copyright AFP
Image caption About 80% of Filipinos are adherents of Roman Catholicism, which some combine with local superstitions and folk traditions.

Images from agencies

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