In the Know: Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival
The Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City is among the country’s biggest and popular religious festivals honoring Sto. Niño (Holy Child Jesus).
Previously known as “Iloilo Ati-Atihan,” the festival began in 1967 when a replica of the image of Señor Sto. Niño was first brought from Cebu by the San Jose Parish in Iloilo City.
The Ati-Atihan streetdance contest started in 1969, participated by four tribes. Since then, more groups have joined showcasing impressive choreography and colorful costumes that reflect the craftmanship and artistry of Ilonggos.
In 1977, the Ilonggo term “Dinagyang,” which means revelry or merrymaking, was coined by Ilonggo writer and broadcaster Pacifico Sudario to describe and differentiate the celebration from other Ati-Atihan festivals. The festivities, which is held every fourth Sunday of January, also include fluvial-foot procession, beauty pageant and cultural expositions. —Inquirer Research
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