Where Our Past Collides: The Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival Starts Jan 29, 2017

The Child Jesus is a central figure of the Dinagsa Ati-Atihan festival.

2017 Event Details

Date: Event highlights start on January 29, 2017 (held annually, on the last Sunday of January)

Location: Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Event Etymology

Dinagsa Ati-Atihan: “Dagsa” (to come together in groups); “Ati-Atihan” (to act like an Ati, an indigenous group from Negros Occidental)

History

The festival serves as a commemoration of the Philippines before and after the Spanish colonization. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, Filipinos largely practiced “animism” where Nature and its elements are given glory and praise. Scholars attribute the “Dinagsa” and “Ati-Atihan” features of the festival to the Philippines’ pre-colonial roots; and the “fiesta” factor to the country’s Spanish colonial history. The festival is also now largely religious, with Santo Niño (Child Jesus) ultimately given homage on this week-long festivity.

What to Expect

  • Prepare to get dirty! During the street feast, visitors are splattered with paint and everyone is encouraged to join in the fun. It’s a bigger insult to steer away or to get angry when people throw paints at you.
  • It’s a much-anticipated annual event so it’s best to book for accommodation early.
  • Although a week-long celebration, the event’s highlights fall on the festival’s opening ceremony on January 29. Do not miss it!

To know more about the festival: http://www.cadizcity.gov.ph/dinagsa-festival/

  • Raizel Albano

    Currently working as a Regional Reporter for GoUNESCO and Chief Traveler for Anthroonfoot.

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