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Dervishes of Prizren (19 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

Holy metal skewers. Sufi men pierce themselves after they have reached a state of trance.

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Dervishes of Prizren (18 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

Young Sufi boys and men pray during their Dhikr in the beginning of an annual ceremony in order to honor the birthday of Imam Ali.

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Dervishes of Prizren (17 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

Sufi men start to pray and dance themselves into a religious state of trance during an annual ceremony in honor of Imam Ali's birthday.

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Dervishes of Prizren (16 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

young Sufi men pray during a ceremony in honor of Imam Ali's birthday.

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Dervishes of Prizren (15 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

The Shejk starts to pierce the cheeks of a young Sufi boy. After the Sufis have reached a religious state of trance they pierce their cheeks and bodies which seems not to cause any pain. The ceremony is in honor of Imam Ali's birthday and the beginning of the new year.

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Dervishes of Prizren (14 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

this young Sufi boy has got his cheek pierced during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order in Prizren.

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Dervishes of Prizren (13 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

These young Sufi boys have got their cheeks pierced during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order. After reaching a state of trance the Sufis feel no pain and are closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (12 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

Sufis dance during an annual religious gathering in honor of Imam Ali's birthday and the celebration of the new year. A young Sufi boy is in the middle, it is his first new year celebration in this order.

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Dervishes of Prizren (11 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

the shejk takes a metal skewer. Soon he will pierce another Sufi's cheeks with this holy tool. After dancing themselves into a religious state of trance the Sufis pierce their bodies, feel no pain and feel themselves closer to god.

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Dervishes of Prizren (10 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

The shejk pierces another Sufi's cheeks during an annual gathering in honor to celebrate Imam Ali's birthday and marks the new year. After dancing into a religious state of trance the Sufi pierce themselves in an act of religious devotion. They don't feel pain and are closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (9 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

These Sufi men have their cheeks got pierced during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order in honor of Imam Ali's birthday and to mark the new year. After dancing themselves into a state of trance they don't feel any pain.

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Dervishes of Prizren (8 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish pierces his cheek while dancing himself into trance. This happens during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order to honor Imam Ali's birthday and mark the beginning of the new year. After reaching a state of trance the Sufis don't feel any pain and are closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (7 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish has got his cheek pierced during an annual gathering of a Sufi order to honor Imam Ali's birthday and mark the beginning of the new year. After dancing into a religious state of trance the Sufis don't feel any pain and are closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (6 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Sufi man has got his cheek pierced during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order. The Dervishes celebrate the birthday of Imam Ali that marks the beginning of the new year. After reaching a state of religious trance the Sufis don't feel any pain and in this act of devotion come closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (5 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

The shejk hammers on a metal skewer that one Dervish has pierced into his body. After reaching a religious state of trance the Sufis start to pierce their bodies and cheeks as an act of devotion during an annual gathering in honor of Imam Ali's birthday.

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Dervishes of Prizren (4 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish whirls a metal skewer on his throat. He has danced himself into a religious state of trance and will soon start to pierce his body and cheeks as an act of religious devotion which brings him closer to God. The ceremony takes place in Prizren and honors the birthday of Imam Ali.

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Dervishes of Prizren (3 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish has got his cheek pierced after he danced himself into trance during an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order in honor of Imam Ali's birthday.

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Dervishes of Prizren (2 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish has removed a metal skewer from his cheek. He is still dancing and whirling. During this religious annual gathering in honor of Imam Ali's birthday the Sufis dance themselves in trance and in an act of devotion pierce their bodies and cheeks without feeling any pain.

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Dervishes of Prizren (1 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Sufi man removes a metal skewer from his cheek while still dancing and whirling. During an annual religious gathering of a Sufi order in honor of Imam Ali's birthday, Sufis dance themselves into a religious state of trance and in an act of devotion pierce their bodies and cheeks. Doing so they don't feel any pain and come closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (21 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

After removing a metal skewer which has been pierced through this young Sufi boy's cheek, the shejk touches the wound with his hand. Nearly no blood is flowing and scars seem to disappear. After dancing into a religious state of trance Sufis pierce their bodies and cheeks with metal skewers in honor of Imam Ali's birthday and to come closer to God.

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Dervishes of Prizren (22 of 23)
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michael Biach
22 Mar 2013

This Dervish is exhausted after a several hours long lasting religious ceremony in honor of Imam Ali's birthday and the beginning of the new year. After dancing themselves into a religious state of trance, Sufis start to pierce their cheeks and bodies. After removing the metal skewers nearly no blood is flowing and scars seem to disappear.

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Ritual Exhumation -Ifugao, Philippine...
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
19 Mar 2013

Bogwa is an ancient ritual in Ifugao, Philippines where natives in Kiangan, Asipulo, Banaue, Lagawe, Hingyon, and Hungduan exhume their death as a form of love and respect to their departed relatives. They feast, celebrate, and offer prayers to the dead for three days.

Although most Ifuagonos have converted to Christianity, they still practice this ritual taboo and incorporate Christian songs and prayers during “Bogwa”.

On the first day of "Bogwa", a Mumbaki (priest) will offer a prayer and a ritual asking the spirits to allow them to open the tomb of the dead.

After opening the tomb, a group of men are now ready to exhume the dead body and clean its 246 bones tediously . The men remove the garments and decaying flesh of the dead with their bare hands.

After cleaning the bones, they bury the decaying flesh near the tomb and sundry the cleaned bones. Next they wrap the skeleton's bones with white cloth and place native Ifugao garments over the white cloth.They will lay the wrapped bones in the favorite area of their beloved where they will pray and sing Christian songs for 3 days.

All people who wish to join the celebration are welcome. The family who is celebrating this unusual day are required to butcher pigs every day to feed all the visitors and on the last day they must also butcher a carabao.

A new coffin is made for the wrapped bones.

Before returning the dead to his tomb, a closing prayer and ritual is done and family members are asked to throw stones inside the tomb and make wishes to the spirits of their departed loved ones.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (19 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
12 Mar 2013

On the last day of Bogwa, a carabao is butchered to feed all attendees.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (18 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
12 Mar 2013

On the last day of Bogwa, a carabao is butchered to feed all attendees.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (14 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

Relatives of the exhumed arrives and pray and sing infront of it.

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Semana Santa
Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia
By U.S. Editor
05 Apr 2012

Holy Week commemorates the passion of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and is the important part of the Christian year. The celebration runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. During these eight days all regular activities come to a stop and people devote themselves to staging the drama of Christ in a variety of physical interpretations based on the social gatherings and places around the Antioquia. The most unique of the celebrations is in Santa Fe de Antioquia. It's a small colonial city, rich in history and traditions. It still preserves the religious rites brought by the people of Andalucia and Extremadura in Spain who colonized the area. There are various processions during the Holy Week where the participants wear Sevillan costumes. The tradition of participating in Holy Week processions passes from father to son and some families have been doing it for many generations.