The Moriones Festival is considered to be one of the most colourful festivals in the Philippines during the Lenten season. The province of Marinduque, becomes one of the top destinations in the country because of this event. Many tourists from all over the world visit the island every year to witness this very one of a kind and exceptional festivity.
When is Moriones Festival 2015
Moriones Festival 2015 will be celebrated on 30th of March to 5th of April
Moriones Festival is annually celebrated during the Holy Week
The Depiction of Moriones Festival
Moriones Festival is a Philippine folk-religious festival held every year during the Holy Week which begins on Holy Monday with the culmination on Easter Sunday.
The word “Moriones” came from the root word Morion which means a mask or a visor in Spanish, a part of the primitive armor of a Roman soldier that covers the face. Moriones, consequently is described as the masked and costumed men who are penitents playing the role of the biblical Roman soldiers. Wearing these colourful costumes, painted masks and helmets, and radiantly colored tunics is formerly a traditional and ethnic practice and folk history but has now become a street festival.
During the sequence of the festival, the Morions are roaming around the streets in town for seven days looking for the legendary character Longinus- a Roman centurion who was a one-eyed blind. They are out there also chasing and scaring children and doing some larks to attract interest from spectators.
Moriones Festival Background and Origin
Some believed that being a Morion is a form of atonement or act repentance towards God for the sins they have committed in the past. For some, it is a form of gratitude and thanksgiving. Some just plainly do it for the sake of the festivity. Whatever the reasons are, it is still regarded as sacred and religious for the Catholics.
Moriones is originally known as “Moryonan” by the local “marinduqueños” and is usually practice by farmers and fishermen in the town. According to the legend, Longinus, who is the centurion who pierced the side of Jesus Christ with his arrow when He is on the cross is one-eyed blind. It was told that the blood that has gushed out of the body of Jesus when He was pierced has splashed to his blind eye thus brought back his sight. This occurrence caused Longinus to be converted to Christianity. His fellow centurion and the authorities were in great indignation because of this so he was ordered to be seized and executed by beheading.
Moriones Festival Customs and Highlights
The highlight of Moriones Festival is called “Via Crusis” during Good Friday, the most solemn part of the week where the re-enactment of the sufferings of Christ on His way to Calvary is performed in the street with many witnesses. Men inflict themselves by scourging their backs until blood comes out and carrying a wooden cross. Some are even led into crucifixion.
The re-enactment of this Biblical story culminates on Easter Sunday where Longinus was seized and beheaded.
This folk religious tradition and customary by the Marinduqueños is one of their main attraction during the Lenten season. It only shows that Filipinos in this province well-preserved this festival from their descendants and forefathers.
Moriones Festival 2016
Moriones Festival 2016 will be observed from 20th of March- 27th of March.