The carabao festival is held on the feast day of San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore the worker) as a tribute to the carabaos or water buffalos, which are used primarily in farming. Pulilan, Bulacan comes alive every May as they prepare for this festival. It is one of the most unique festivals in the Philippines as they feature a procession of more than twenty beautifully decorated carabaos. See Carabao Festival pictures
Carabao Festival 2015
This year’s (2015 ) Carabao Festival will be celebrated on May 14-15, which falls on Thursday-Friday. This festival is held as a celebration of thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest they had for the year. Since carabaos are an important part in the farming industry, they have been given a big part in the feast day of San Isidro Labrador.
plan your travel early and prepare for the Carabao Festival and witness this unique festival. Here, you will see a procession of a number of carabaos, dressed and decorated with colorful vegetables, fruits and flowers as the give respect and kneel in front of the towns’ church.
Pulilan, Bulacan becomes a popular tourist destination as they celebrate the annual Carabao Festival and features a number of carabaos and water buffaloes as they parade along the streets following a line of colorful and well decorated floats and farming machines. Also, they decorate these carts with colorful fruits, vegetables, flowers and other crops which hang on bamboo poles. These carts are pulled by carabaos as floats.
As these carabaos kneel in front of the church, the priest blesses each one of them for good health and vitality for the next farming year.
What is Carabao Festival?
The Carabao Festival is an annual celebration held in Pulilan, Bulacan. It is held in time with the feast day of San Isidro Labrador. Also, this celebration is done as a way of giving thanks for their bountiful harvest for the year.
Who is San Isidro Labrador?
San Isidro Labrador or St. Isidore the worker is the patron saint of the farmers. The carabao festival is held in his honor.
San Isidro Labrador’s image has been associated with men kneeling before him. Thus, the practice of the kneeling carabaos was derived from here.
One of the most awaited events on the Carabao Festival is the procession featuring beautifully decorated carabaos. The townspeople take time to beautify these carabaos in time for the procession. They dress them up and add accessories and sometimes, attach them to an equally attractive cart. They train the carabaos to kneel and genuflect in front of the church for the blessings bestowed upon them for the year. Also, they walk on their knees while in front of the church. This site, never fails to amaze the crowd, especially the foreigners who attend the festival.
At the end of the festival, they award the best-looking, most skillful and the cleanest carabao of the year.
History of Carabao Festival
According to sources, San Isidro Labrador was hired as a laborer. His landlord was pleased that he was capable of accomplishing his tasks despite of coming late to work. Due to his curiosity, the landlord investigated and saw that the person who was working was actually an angel. In admiration, he knelt before San Isidro. Since then, San Isidro Labrador was associated with men kneeling before him.
As the feast of San Isidro evolved, they included the carabaos in the celebration. These animals are important in the farming industry as they help the farmers with their tasks.
Interesting Information about Carabao Festival
During the festival, the townspeople also organize other activities such as carabao racing, best crops competition and other exciting activities.
As the townspeople prepare their carabaos for the annual festival, they brush their skin until it is clean and shiny. Also, this is done in the hope of winning the cleanest and best looking carabao of the year.
Once, an accident has occurred during the Carabao procession, where a carabao went wild. This carabao was identified as the Bulgarian Bufallo. Since then, these types were not allowed to join the procession anymore.
Carabao Festival 2016
Carabao Festival 2016 will probably be celebrated on May 14-15,
The Carabao Festival is a religious festival which is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador. This festival is held in Pulilan, Bulacan every May 14-15.
Bring your camera: While sites like this cannot be seen anywhere else, it is best to take the opportunity and take as much photos as you can.
Come early: Since you won’t need an accommodation to attend the Carabao Festival, it is best to come early so that you can witness all the activities they have in store for you. Also, be sure to be present on the carabao procession. This is an event you shouldn’t miss.
Location: Pulilan, Bulacan
Date: Carabao Festival is held annually every May 15-16. This years’ celebration will fall on Thursday-Friday.
How to get there
To get to the Carabao Festival, you can take a bus ride to Pulilan, Bulacan. There are a few bus terminals along EDSA. Victory Liner offers daily trip to Pulilan, Bulacan.