Dinagyang Festival IloIlo Province
Celebrated every 4th weekend of January in Iloilo City. Spectacle characterized by frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing and chanting all day and night.
Today, Dinagyang is associated with the annual, socio-cultural-religious festival of Iloilo City in January. Dinagyang was coined by an old-time Ilonggo writer and radio broadcaster, the late Pacifico Sumagpao Sudario, who first used the word to name the festival when it was launched in 1977.
Iloilo Citys Dinagyang had its beginnings in 1968 when Fr. Sulpicio Ebderes, OSA brought a replica of the image of the Sr. Santo NiNO from Cebu City to the San Jose Parish church with a delegation of Cofradia Del Sto. NINO Cebu members.
The image was brought to San Jose Parish church and has been enshrined there since then where a novena in His honor is held every Friday. The first parish feast of SeNIOr Santo NiNO was celebrated in 1969, a year after His arrival in Iloilo City. The culmination of the nine-day novena was the fluvial procession.
From 1969, the celebration was casually called Iloilo Ati-Atihan to differentiate it from that more famous Mardi-Gras -- like revelry of Kalibo, Aklan.
Through the years, however, the Dinagyang festival has not only meant fun and laughter for the Ilonggos. It has also become a period of thanksgiving and offering for all the blessings received. Hala Bira!