Church & Society

'Mud people' honor John the Baptist June 25, 2018

A group of Filipino devotees in the northern Philippine town of Aliaga celebrates the Feast of John the Baptist on June 24 in a very unique way.

Starting at dawn, men, women, and even children troop to the rice fields and paint their faces and bodies with mud. 

They then wear a cloak made of banana leaves, twigs, and vines and transform themselves into "mud people."

From sunrise, the barefoot devotees roam the streets of the town knocking on houses for candles or money to buy candles.

Later in the day, the "mud people" converge in front of the town church to light the candles and pray. 

They then celebrate Mass parading the image of Saint John the Baptist around the town.

The annual festival draws thousands of people to the town.

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