the Philippines


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in honor of 


 Santo Niño

Caracteristics of the  festival

The famous Sinulog festival in Cebu City is held every year on the third Sunday of January. The festival is characterized by a  very long parade with many groups of persons dressed in colourful costumes, finding their way through the streets while dancing the Sinulog. To distinguish the festival from the popular Ati-Atihan Festival on Panay island,

this festival is characterized by a different dance. This Sinulog dance, is now the traditional and ritual dance in honor of Santo Niño. The dance is accompanied by the sound of the drums:  all the time moving two steps forward followed by one step backward. Though the dance is already very old, the parade  is rather young! 1980 was the first year that the parade was organized. 


Pictures: © wm  


The origin

The Sinulog was already danced by the locals in honor of their wooden statues in the period before the Cebuanos were baptized. Later on, after the image of the famous Santo Niño was brought to Cebu and  the Catholic faith was established in the region, the dance was made a part of the yearly fiesta in honor of the Santo Niño. 

While dancing, people are shouting  petitions and thanksgivings to the Santo Niño. Shouting is necessary because the pilgrims have to be sure that they will be heard by the Santo Niño.

“Pit Señor! Señor Santo Niño, Manoy Kiloy...." 

The Sinulog became indeed a dance ritual in honor of Santo Niño!

sources:  Sinulog Foundation Inc.


Black Nazarene





Sinulog festival


Santa Cruzan

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