Easter preparations commence across the world

BY Ellen Rolfes and Joshua Barajas  April 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM EDT
Danish film maker Lasse Spang Olsen is nailed to a cross during the a re-enactment of the Crucifixion of Christ during Good Friday celebrations in Cutud, Pampanga, north of Manila on April 18, 2014.  Eight Filipinos and a Dane re-enacted the death of Jesus Christ on Friday by nailing themselves to crosses before thousands of people in a gruesome annual Easter spectacle in the Philippines. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Danish film maker Lasse Spang Olsen is nailed to a cross during the a re-enactment of the Crucifixion of Christ during Good Friday celebrations in Cutud, Pampanga, north of Manila on April 18, 2014. Eight Filipinos and a Dane re-enacted the death of Jesus Christ on Friday by nailing themselves to crosses before thousands of people in a gruesome annual Easter spectacle in the Philippines. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

In a decades-old tradition, Filipinos were nailed to crosses on Good Friday re-enacting the death of Jesus Christ. This year, locals were joined by a Danish man.

Filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen was one of nine to have nails driven through his hands and feet, the AFP reported, and hung on the cross for 10 minutes. He was allowed to wear a small video camera to document the experience.

Olsen’s participation in the annual events occurred despite restrictions prohibiting foreigners. The ban on foreigners was put in effect in 2006 when a British national backed out last minute. A tourism officer told the AFP that Olsen had been allowed to participate after he presented a waiver of liability from the Danish embassy.

Local officials gave no explanation for why Olsen’s waiver allowed them to violate the ban.

While not promoted as such, the Good Friday rituals are big revenue generators for hotels and vendors. The annual events are not encouraged or endorsed by Catholic Church leaders.


In Mexico, processions of masked men trudged through the streets of the southern town of Taxco to mark the beginning of Easter celebrations. Known as “encruzados,” crucified ones in English, these men flog themselves, while carrying thorny brunches, as heavy as 88 pounds, to mimic the suffering of Jesus Christ bearing the cross. Others self-flagellate, lashing their backs with whips made of rope and nails.

Note: The following video includes graphic depictions of self-flagellation. Viewer discretion advised.

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Penitents of the “Los Negritos” brotherhood parade in Sevilla, Spain.