Philippine Officials: Crucifying Yourself? Get a Tetanus Shot First!

Officials in the Philippines have just issued health warnings for people to get tetanus vaccinations before they ... flagellate themselves and are nailed to the cross!

That's because on Good Friday dozens of devout Catholic Filipinos re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in a very real way:

The health department has strongly advised penitents to check the condition of the whips they plan to use to lash their backs, the Manila Times newspaper reports.

They want people to have what they call "well-maintained" whips. [...] And they advise that the nails used to fix people to crosses must be properly disinfected first. Often people soak the nails in alcohol throughout the year.

In the northern city of San Fernando alone there will be three separate improvised Golgothas - the biblical name for the hill where Jesus was crucified.

Four people there have pledged to have their feet and hands nailed to wooden crosses, while others will flog themselves while walking barefoot through villages.

Link - Thanks Emperor!

Previously on Neatorama: Filipino Crucifixion

If you do it right, your lungs become filled with fluid (pulmonary edema/pulmonary effusion) which leads to you drowning in your own water. You can also get a pericardial effusion (water surrounding the heart) which can lead to cardiac arrest.

What I can't understand is that if you're going to have yourself nailed to a cross, why would you even be thinking about tetanus or any other infection?
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hi, great blog! I'm from the Philippines and I was psyched when I read this entry. We call this tradition penitensiya. People rich and poor volunteer like snowflakes signing in for a blizzard. Most of the time, heavy sinners or reformed criminals participate in the painful parade as a form of penance. In some provinces, it gets really hardcore. They use really thick nails and people who act as the guards sometimes pour alcohol or liquor on the backs of back slashers.

But in my city, volunteers are always drunk before the penitensiya starts so it's sort of funny.

A part of this entry's title should be Philippine Officials. not Philippines Officials. :)
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Not a bad idea, actually, seeing how much damage could result from the lack of medicinal, respectively hygienical standards. Just a pity it is necessary to purport such a sacrifice, seeing as how the church officials prefer the rather undimplomatic way instead. Without sacrificing much.
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