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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog is an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. The word Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb sulog which is "like water current movement," which describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. The dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of drums. The dance is categorized into Sinulog-base, Free-Interpretation. Candle vendors at the Basilica continue to perform the traditional version of the dance when lighting a candle for the customer, usually accompanied by songs in the native language.The festival honors the child Jesus, known as the Santo Niño (Holy Child), patron of the city of Cebu. It is a dance ritual that commemorates the Cebuano people's pagan origin, and their acceptance of Christianity.The festival features a street parade with participants in bright-colored costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate, and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a "Sinulog sa Kabataan", performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the grand parade. Recently, the festival has been promoted as a tourist attraction, with a contest featuring contingents from various parts of the country. The Sinulog Contest is usually held in the Cebu City Sports Complex. The Sinulog celebration traditionally lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog Grand Parade. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession is held at dawn with the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City, decked with hundreds of flowers and candles. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu is performed. In the afternoon, a more solemn procession takes place along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowd participating in the event. On the feast day at the Basilica, a Pontifical Mass is celebrated by the Cardinal with the assistance of several bishops of Cebu. Most devotees go to the Basilica to attend the mass before heading out to the streets to watch the parade.

1 comment:

Texas Wanderer said...

WOW! I would LOVE to go to that! One day I will, its going in my calendar right now.

I'm not very familiar with Cebu, I've only had one trip through there and what an experience it was. Check out my blog under "Philippines" category if you'd like to read it, it will probably make you laugh.

Thanks for some great information!