GOOD FRIDAY IN THE PHILIPPINES
Ever since the 1950s, the men of the Philippines have had unusual tradition around Easter. It has grown to the point where from 50,000 to 75,000 people attend every year. The ritual that has drawn all these tourists to the Philippines is an odd and gruesome Good Friday reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. A group of men who refer to themselves as the "kristos" allow themselves to be beaten with rods and whipped. Approximately 500 men each year are physically beaten as Jesus was. Then, this year 17 men volunteered to have their hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross (which is fitted with a foot rest for them to stand on) and they hang in space -- between heaven and earth -- for a period that can last anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour. At that point they are taken down and transferred to a medical tent where their wounds are treated and they receive tetanus shots.
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