& Festivals 2001
In an island
of Christian majority, Holy Week provides a colorful celebration with
the arrival of Easter. It is around this time that many passion plays
are staged. Perhaps the best known is the Moriones Festival in
Marindique, featuring the re-enactment of the ancient Biblical story of
the Roman soldier, Longinus and his miracle.
of the villages of Boac, Gasan and Mogpog into immense stages marks the
beginning of the play. During the play, all-male participants put on wooden
masks made of coral wood, resembling scowling Roman soldiers. On Ash Wednesday,
these 'Roman soldiers' roam the streets to 'terrorize' the locals - all
in the name of good fun.
As for Good
Friday, a re-enactment of Jesus' crucifixion with Longinus' assistance
is staged. Three days later, on Easter Sunday, thousands of locals and
spectators gather at an enormous open-air arena alongside the Boac River
to witness Christ's resurrection being dramatically acted out.
Moriones Festival is brought to a finale with the ceremonious beheading
and carrying of Longinus' headless body to the church.