Christian worshippers in the southern Italian town of Nocera Terinese took their devotion to the next level by beating themselves with shards of glass in a self-flagellation ritual on Holy Saturday.

The 'Vattienti' – meaning 'those who hit' – use pieces of cork with spiked glass to hit beat their legs, drawing blood in a macabre spectacle. They are accompanied by young boys from the town, dressed in red and who represent Christ.

Benito Vifano, a spectator and resident of Nocera Terinese, commented that the ritual symbolises that "Christ has shed his blood for humanity. And now humanity is shedding its blood for Christ."

The ritual is believed to have ancient Spanish roots.

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