Taong Putik – A Philippines Tradition Celebrating John the Baptist…

… because Church Universal.

In the Philippines, as in other Catholic countries, June 24 is observed as the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. The day offers an excuse to engage in revelry such as dousing water on unwary people.

In Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, in Barangay Bibiclat, hundreds of devotees of the village’s patron saint, John the Baptist, transform themselves into “mud people” — literally “taong putik.” The locals call the ritual Pagsa-San Juan. Outsiders call it the Taong Putik Festival. [source, with photos]

Basically, they emulate the saint by dressing up like him using native materials. Then they celebrate mass and finish off with a street party.

Other sources with lots of photos: Taong Putik Festival gallery, and A Muddy Devotion.

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