January 9 is a huge holiday in the Philippines, with schools and businesses closed while 6-8 million Catholics crowd into the Quiapo district of Manila, the capital city to witness the Feast of the Most Holy Black Nazarene.
The Black Nazarene was carved in Mexico as Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, Our Father, Jesus the Nazarene. While being shipped to the Philippines, it was blackened in a fire. The official Philippine title is Mahal na Itim na Nazareno, but it is far more widely known as the Black Nazarene.
The January 9 procession and mass celebrates the day the Black Nazarene arrived in the Philippines.
“Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done. ”