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Whipping Boys: Self-flagellation festival in Italy draws crowds and blood *GRAPHIC*02:40

Whipping Boys: Self-flagellation festival in Italy draws crowds and blood *GRAPHIC*

Italy, Guardia Sanframondi
August 27, 2017 at 13:46 GMT -00:00 · Published

Hundreds of people gathered in the Italian village of Guardia Sanframondi on Sunday to witness the centuries-old religious festival of flagellation, the Riti Settennali di Penitenza, which marks the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The procession sees participants either lash themselves with metal whips or beat their chests with cork pads embedded with pins, often drawing blood, and it takes place every seven years as a symbol of penance.

Clad in white hoods to hide their identities, those who beat their chests pour white wine on their barbed pad to cleanse the wound, as well as keep the blood flowing.

It is one of just a handful of known rituals throughout the world, with most of them coming from Latin America.

Whipping Boys: Self-flagellation festival in Italy draws crowds and blood *GRAPHIC*02:40
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Description

Hundreds of people gathered in the Italian village of Guardia Sanframondi on Sunday to witness the centuries-old religious festival of flagellation, the Riti Settennali di Penitenza, which marks the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The procession sees participants either lash themselves with metal whips or beat their chests with cork pads embedded with pins, often drawing blood, and it takes place every seven years as a symbol of penance.

Clad in white hoods to hide their identities, those who beat their chests pour white wine on their barbed pad to cleanse the wound, as well as keep the blood flowing.

It is one of just a handful of known rituals throughout the world, with most of them coming from Latin America.

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