Celebrating the Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival in Cadiz City
A Guest Post by Logan.
From January 22nd to January 30th , the citizens of Cadiz City will be celebrating their annual Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival to celebrate El Señor Sto. Nino.
This festival usually lasts around a week near the end of January and includes vibrant costumes, dancing, and passionate beating of drums. Many of the festival’s performers are painted in black or covered in black soot as a part of a cultural tradition related to the indigenous Ati-Atihans.
If you’re going to be taking a trip by jet charter, plane, or bus to the province of Negros Occidental this month, you shouldn’t miss out on this exciting festival…
Once you arrive to the festival, you will be expected to participate in the activity of Lamhitanay, which involves the residents of Cadiz City painting your face and body black. This can be sort of an unusual experience, but all attendees of the Dinagsa festival are expected to participate in Lamhitanay.
If you opt not to have your face and body painted, you risk offending the Cadiz City locals. It’s a good idea to bring your own paint and a change of clothes for when you leave the festival. You can expect to end each day of the festival completely covered in paint.
During the Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival, you can also expect to witness a parade featuring an infant that symbolizes Jesus floating out on a fishing boat into the city’s surrounding river. When the fishing boat returns, the festival reaches a crescendo of celebration. The drumbeats get louder, and the people cheer to celebrate their culture and beliefs.
The name “Dinagsa” comes from something that happened to the people of Cadiz City in May of 1967. During this time, several large whales were washed upon shore. Cadiz City locals believe this event was a sign of prosperity and good fortune sent from the heavens.
Their Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival primarily celebrates El Señor Sto. Nino, but it also celebrates Cadiz City’s good fortune when it comes to fishing and the culture of the Ati-Atihans. If you want to get a sense of the true spirit of the vibrant Cadiz City on your Philippine Vacation, you should join in the Dinagasa Ati-Atihan Festival this year!
- Logan is a writer and adventurer who is always looking for the next best place to visit.