The Feast Day of San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist) is celebrated in several bizarre ways in the Philippines every year on 23 June.

In the village of Bibiclat in Nueva Ecija province, people transform themselves into "taong putik" (mud people) by covering themselves in mud and wearing costumes made from dried banana leaves. This tradition represents the way John the Baptist disguised himself when he baptised Jesus Christ.

People covered in mud and wearing costumes made from banana leaves walk from a rice field to church during a religious festival held in honour of St John the Baptist, in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija province, Philippines
People covered in mud and wearing costumes made from banana leaves walk from a rice field to church during a religious festival held in honour of St John the Baptist, in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija province, PhilippinesAFP
Hundreds of farmers covered in mud and wearing costumes made from banana leaves attend a mass to honour St John the Baptist
Hundreds of farmers covered in mud and wearing costumes made from banana leaves attend a mass to honour St John the BaptistAFP
Devotees wearing banana leaves attend mass during what is known locally as the
Devotees wearing banana leaves attend mass during what is known locally as the "mud people" festival in Aliaga, PhilippinesAFP
People covered with dried banana leaves and mud light candles as they take part in a religious ritual to celebrate the Catholic feast day of Saint John the Baptist
People covered with dried banana leaves and mud light candles as they take part in a religious ritual to celebrate the Catholic feast day of Saint John the BaptistReuters
A man covered in mud participates in a religious ritual known locally as
A man covered in mud participates in a religious ritual known locally as "Taong Putik" (Mud People) to seek blessings and bountiful harvestsReuters
Devotees carry a statue of Saint John the Baptist while celebrating the feast day of their Catholic patron saint in the village of Bibiclat, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
Devotees carry a statue of Saint John the Baptist while celebrating the feast day of their Catholic patron saint in the village of Bibiclat, Nueva Ecija, PhilippinesReuters

An even more bizarre tradition, the "Parada ng Lechon" (Parade of Roasted Pigs), is observed in Balayan, Batangas province. Roasted pigs are dressed up and paraded through the streets.

Crowds try to douse the pigs in wigs and their bearers with water or beer to represent the baptism. The festival ends with a feast – on the menu? Roasted pig.

A roasted pig dressed as a motorcycle rider is paraded through the streets in Balayan, Batangas province, Philippines, to celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist
A roasted pig dressed as a motorcycle rider is paraded through the streets in Balayan, Batangas province, Philippines, to celebrate the feast of St John the BaptistAFP
A roasted pig dressed as Spider-man is paraded through the streets in Balayan to celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist
A roasted pig dressed as Spider-man is paraded through the streets in Balayan to celebrate the feast of St John the BaptistAFP
A roasted pig dressed as a dialysis patient is paraded through the streets in Balayan
A roasted pig dressed as a dialysis patient is paraded through the streets in BalayanAFP
Pigs' heads are roasted over a fire in the Philippines
Pigs' heads are roasted over a fire in the PhilippinesAFP

Throughout the Philippines, giant water-fights are held during the Festival of St John. Again, the splashing with water represents baptism.

St John the Baptist is the only saint whose birthday is celebrated in the Christian liturgy; all other saints' days are observed on the day of their death.

Passengers riding in a public motorcycle cab doused with water, to celebrate the Feast Day of St John the Baptist, patron saint of San Juan city, Philippines
Passengers riding in a public motorcycle cab doused with water, to celebrate the Feast Day of St John the Baptist, patron saint of San Juan city, PhilippinesReuters
People spray each other with water-pistols to celebrate the feast day of St John the Baptist in Manila, Philippines
People spray each other with water-pistols to celebrate the feast day of St John the Baptist in Manila, PhilippinesAFP
A woman is tossed into the air by friends while the fire brigade drenches her with water in Manila
A woman is tossed into the air by friends while the fire brigade drenches her with water in ManilaAFP
People are showered with water by the fire brigade during the traditional St John the Baptist Feast Day celebrations in San Juan city, Philippines
People are showered with water by the fire brigade during the traditional St John the Baptist Feast Day celebrations in San Juan city, PhilippinesReuters