Church & Society

Feast of St. John the Baptist June 27, 2018

Once a year, residents in the village of Bibiclat in the southern Philippine province of Nueva Ecija mark the Feast of St. John the Baptist with a show of humility by bathing their bodies in mud and by donning a cloak of grass and leaves.

The annual ritual dubbed "Pagsa-San Juan aims to transform participants into "mud people" to emulate St. John the Baptist, who appeared in biblical stories as dressed like a beggar.

The practice supposedly started after an image of the saint helped residents drive away snakes that roamed the village of Bibiclat in the early days. The word "Bibiclat" came from the word "biclat" or snake.

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