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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 10, Feast of the Black Nazarene. In Filipino, it’s called Pista ng Itim na Nazareno.
Every year on the ninth of January at the Quiapo Church of Manila, barefoot devotees parade the statue of the Black Nazarene while chanting "Viva Señor!" which literally means “Long Live The Christ.” This is the Feast of the Black Nazarene. It is a gathering attended by many people seeking to approach and touch the sacred statue, as common belief holds that touching it can heal illness.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know how old the image of the Black Nazarene is at present?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The procession of the Black Nazarene commemorates the transfer of the image to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. On this day, the image is transferred by carriage, or in Filipino andas, by devotees shrouded in maroon clothing and walking barefoot. This serves as a remembrance of Jesus walking up the Calvary barefoot and also serves as a form of penance for devotees.
The procession begins after a mass in the former location of the image in the area now known as Rizal Park. The carriage of the Black Nazarene is connected to two ropes pulled by its bearers. The edge of the rope closest to the right shoulder of Jesus is believed to be the most sacred part, in Filipino referred to as pinakasagrado, as it is on this shoulder that Jesus carried his cross.
Every year, around six to nine million people participate in this religious festival. Anyone who has attended in the past has undoubtedly noticed a number of the participants in the procession wearing yellow. These participants are known as the escorts of the image of the Black Nazarene. It is to these people that devotees throw their towels and handkerchiefs, or panyo, to be wiped on the Nazarene, since it is believed that such action may transfer to the handkerchiefs and towels the miraculous power of the image.
In 2012, it took over 22 hours to transfer the image from the Nazarene back to Quiapo!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know how old the image of the Black Nazarene is at present?
The image of the Black Nazarene is over four hundred years old now. It survived when the Quiapo Church caught fire in 1729 and 1929, when earthquakes struck in 1645 and 1863, and when the Japanese bombed Manila during World War II.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you celebrate a similar festival in your country as well?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!