The number of people who joined the Black Nazarene procession in the Philippines reached about 6.3 million, double that of last year and the faithful crowd showed frenzied devotion to the image of Black Nazarene during the procession that lasted 22 hours. The procession reached the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila’s Quiapo district at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 10, around 22 hours after it started in Luneta Park early in the morning of the previous day.

As reported by, Msgr. Hernando Coronel, the rector of the Basilica, offered his gratitutde towards the organizers of the festival, which he described as a huge endeavor of faith. He highlighted that the celebration was meant to bring the people together and closer.

Held every year on Jan. 9, the Feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the biggest religious events in Asia. Cloaked in a maroon robe, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, the Nazarene statue was brought to Manila by Augustinian friars in 1607, during Spanish colonial rule. The image was supposedly carved by an anonymous Mexican sculptor and brought to Manila via a galleon from Acapulco.