Dinagyang Festival is an annual festival which is held in honor of Sto Nino. This festival features a very colorful parade coupled with the beat of the drums which results to a fusion of boom and grandeur. This is indeed one of the grandest and most anticipated festivals in the country.
Dinagyang Festival 2014
The Dinagyang Festival is an annual festival which is held on the fourth Sunday of January. By 2014, this festival shall be held as usual on January 26 (Sunday).
Dinagyang Festival costume is one of the features of this event as the residents of Iloilo groove to the beat of the drums, with their bodies painted in black and enliven the streets in their grandest and most colorful costumes of all.
Dinagyan is Iloilo’s version of Ati-atihan. This is widely celebrated not only within the province but also in other parts of the country. It may not be as ancient compared to other festivals, but its impressive choreography and striking costumes reflects the ingenuity, craftsmanship and the artistry of the Ilonggos.
What is Dinagyang Festival?
Dinagyang festival is a religious festival which is held in honor of Sto Nino. The streets of Iloilo come alive as the locals paint their bodies in black, wear the most colorful and grandest costumes as they groove to the beat of the drums.
Main Attractions – Dinagyang festival
Iloilo City once again comes alive as the Ilonggos celebrate the Dinagyang Festival. It is a very colorful parade matched with a dramatization in honor of Sto Nino.
A long line of people goes out to the street with their bodies painted in black. Also, this festival features an ensemble of colorful and flashy costumes to match the celebration. Street dancers groove to the beat of the drums matched with the thundering “Hala Bira” by the tribe members, making this a joyous festival.
History of Dinagyang Festival
The root of Dinagyang was rooted from 1967 as a replica image of the Sto Nino was first brought to Cebu. The image was enthusiastically received by the devotees and the people of Iloilo at the Mandurrio Airport.
In 1976, street dancing and audience participation was encouraged. From mere audiences, the festival offered people their chance to participate in this joyous festivity.
In 1977 the name Dinagyang was coined by an Ilonggo writer/broadcaster Pacifico Sudario. Before this, Dinagyang was referred to as Iloilo Atiatihan to differentiate it from the Ati-atihan held in Aklan.
For the past few years, Dinagyang Festival has evolved from a simple celebration to a big religious and cultural activity supported by the local government and private sectors.
Interesting Information on Dinagyang Festival
Dagoy is the official mascot of Dinagyang Festival. This mascot came from the promotional sketches of Dinagyang in 2002. This picture of Dinagyang Festival was later adapted as the official logo of the said event.
Dinagyang is the pride of the Ilonggos. In 2011, Dingyang Festival has gone international as the Ilonggos danced their way in the streets of Manhattan during the Philippine Independence Day parade in New York City.
The word “dagyang” is an Ilonggo word which means to make happy. Literally, this festival means merry making or have fun. Indeed, the Dinagyang Festival is a joyous festival.
The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines hailed the Dinagyang Festival as the country’s tourism event of the year for three consecutive years, from 2006 to 2008.
Book early: This is a famous festival so expect a lot of tourists to take part in this festival. To assure your accommodation within this period, it is best to find and book your hotel a few months before the schedule of the Dinagyang Festival.
Bring a camera: Dinagyang Festival features a colorful street dancing event wherein residents wear the most colorful costumes. So, take advantage of this scenic site and take as much photos as you can.
Date: Dinagyang Festival is an annual celebration which is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of January. By 2014, this festival will be celebrated as usual on January 26, 2014 (Sunday).
Location: Iloilo City
How to get there
Via Plane: To take part in this joyous festival, you have to travel via plane to Iloilo. A few local airlines have daily trips to Iloilo. Estimated travel time from Manila to Iloilo is 1.5 to 2 hours.