Catholics around the world have celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), symbolising their belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and the Eucharist.

Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (ie, the eighth Thursday after Easter). Although largely a Catholic feast, it is also observed by some Anglican churches and Lutheran congregations.

In this gallery, IBTimes UK looks at colourful Corpus Christi processions around the world, from Latin America to Bavaria.

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Members of a Catholic brotherhood called the Dancing Devils of Naiguata take part in a procession to celebrate Corpus Christi in Naiguata, Vargas state, VenezuelaFederico Parra/AFP
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A member of the Dancing Devils of Naiguata takes part in the Catholic celebration of Corpus Christi in Naiguata, Vargas state, VenezuelaFederico Parra/AFP
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The Dancing Devils processions have been awarded Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status by UnescoFederico Parra/AFP
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People watch from a rooftop as around half a million evangelical believers participate in the 23rd March for Jesus in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to celebrate Corpus ChristiVictor Moriyama/Getty Images
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People take part in the 23rd March for Jesus in Sao Paulo, claimed to be the most popular Christian event in the worldVictor Moriyama/Getty Images
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Two girls celebrate the holiday of Corpus Christi in Brasilia, celebrated on the eighth Thursday following EasterMario Tama/Getty Images
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The faithful wait outside the Cathedral of Brasilia for the annual Corpus Christi serviceMario Tama/Getty Images
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A vendor sells candy floss and balloons outside the Cathedral of BrasiliaMario Tama/Getty Images
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Catholic priests gather to celebrate Corpus Christi in the Cathedral of Brasilia, designed by Oscar NiemeyerMario Tama/Getty Images
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Haitian children participate in a mass after a Corpus Christi procession in Petion Ville, Port-au-PrinceHector Retamal/AFP
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Girls throw petals before the Blessed Sacrament during a Corpus Christi procession along a street in Warsaw, PolandKacper Pempel/Reuters
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Women wearing mantillas take part in a Corpus Christi procession in Carrion de los Cespedes, Andalucia, southern SpainMarcelo del Pozo/Reuters
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A brass band in traditional Bavarian costume takes part in the annual Corpus Christi procession in Seehausen, GermanyCarsten Koall/Getty Images
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A barge carrying the local priest, religious effigies and the choir leads the procession to an island located in the middle of Staffelsee Lake in Seehausen, GermanyCarsten Koall/Getty Images
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Bavarians row boats to an island in the middle of Staffelsee Lake, for a Corpus Christi mass at the Chapel of St SimpertCarsten Koall/Getty Images
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Men dressed in typical Tyrolean costume ride horses during the traditional Antlassritt – a eucharistic procession held on Corpus Christi – in Brixen im Thale, AustriaDominic Ebenbichler/Reuters
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A woman wearing traditional costume takes part in a Feast of Corpus Christi procession in the western Austrian village of Brixen im ThaleDominic Ebenbichler/Reuters

Pope Francis presided over a late evening Mass and a traditional 1km-long procession through the streets of Rome. Like last year, the Pope, who is known to suffer from sciatica, or leg pain caused by a pinched nerve, did not walk in the procession.

The pontiff called on the procession participants to think of those who are not free to express their Christian faith and who have had to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. "May their blood, together with that of the Lord, be a pledge of peace and reconciliation for the whole world," he said.

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Pope Francis holds up a gold monstrance – a case containing a communion hostGabriel Bouys/AFP
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Pope Francis leads a mass at Saint John's Lateran Basilica in RomeAndreas Solaro/AFP
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Nuns listen as Pope Francis leads the feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) at St Giovanni in Laterano Basilica in RomeMax Rossi/Reuters