The Marinduque Moriones Lenten Rites is one of the most famous religious festivals in the Philippines.
Marinduque known to be the country’s “Lenten capital,” and the Moriones Festival is its unique and celebrated take on Christ’s suffering and death.
Moriones comes from the Spanish word “morion,” which means “helmet” or “visor.” In this centuries-old tradition, local men (and a few women) put on the colorful garb-the highlight of the gala costumes are finely carved masks depicting the fierce Roman soldiers of Christ’s time.
The morions then populate the towns ‘streets-engaging in mock swordfights, playing pranks on children, marching or dancing in groups, or performing antics while safely hidden behind their masks.
The masked and costumed penitents march around Marinduque’s six towns for seven days searching for Longinus. The celebration starts on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday, when the story of Longinus is reenacted in a play.
One of the most interesting features of this festival is that it attracts both devout locals and non-religious folks, making it an open celebration for visitors who would like to immerse in Filipino culture. For tourist visiting Marinduque, Moriones Festival is a perfect experience in your summer vacation.
Photo courtesy of Rens Tuzon
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