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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ati-atihan, a Truly Historic Festival in Philippines

Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, Aklan, the Phil...           Image via WikipediaThe Ati-atihan Festival is a "frenzied and raucous" historical and religious festivity celebrated in Kalibo, Aklan in Panay Island in honor of Santo Nino (infant Jesus). The celebration started in the second week and end at third Sunday of January.  

Ati-atihan festival is one of the oldest festival in the Philippines that is thought  to have started in year 1212 after the the arrival of 10 Malay "datus" or chieftains coming from Borneo, and were granted settlement of Ati people, the indigenous people of Panay Island. The festival was originally a pagan festival for Ati's god called "Anito", after that under Spanish Colony, Spanish missionaries gradually added a Christian meaning and nowadays the festival is considered as religious festival.

Participants paint their faces with black soot and wear bright, outlandish costumes as they dance in revelry during the week-long festival. The opening mass starts the festival, and the processions begins with drumbeats and dances along the streets. The second day begins at dawn with rosary procession ending in Church for a mass. The highlight of the festival is on the third Sunday after all groups representing all tribes are completed. The festival ends with a procession of different images of Santo Nino with the priest carrying torches and later announcing the contest winners at a masquerade ball.

Kalibo, Aklan's Ati-atihan Festival of 2007. F...Image via Wikipedia

Ati-atihan FestivalImage by Erick ) via Flickr

Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo CityImage via Wikipedia

Ati-atihan sa KaliboImage by akeán2® via Flickr

Ati-Atihan 2011Image by zna via Flickr

.Image by akeán2® via Flickr

.Image by akeán2® via Flickr

.Image by akeán2® via Flickr

Little WarriorsImage by Flipped Out via Flickr

Ati-atihan dancerImage by miketogle via Flickr

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