LONGGANISA FESTIVAL 2015

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A close study of the Philippine fiestas discloses some pagan practices tinged with Spanish religious influence.  It also shows the people’s love for gatherings and festivities, their colourful and native culture, and gratitude to God.  Compared to the West, what the Filipinos lack in luxurious refinement, they compensate with faith in their God.

When is the Kahimunan Festival in 2015?

The Kahimunan Festival is on January 18, 2015 which is Sunday.

The Kahimunan Festival is always celebrated on the third Sunday of January each year.

Where is the Kahimunan Festival celebrated?

The Kahimunan Festival is celebrated in Butuan City in Mindanao, Philippines.  Butuan’s name is attributed to a sour fruit called batuan.  In many places in the country, this fruit is used in Filipino cuisine in place of tomatoes.

Other historians say that the city’s name originated from a chieftain of the Kingdom of Butuan named Datu Buntuan.  Even then, the kingdom had been known for its industry on metals and advanced naval technology.  Butuan City had been the capital of Agusan del Norte until 2000.  In this year, Cabadbaran became the province’s capital per Republic Act No. 8811.

What is the Kahimunan Festival all about?

The Kahimunan Festival is a combination of traditional and Christian features marked with splendour and pomp.  Similar to Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival and all other January fiestas all over the Philippines, the Kahimunan Festival commemorates the Christian Feast of the Child Jesus.

Kahimunan is a Manobo or Lumad (Filipino dialects) term for gathering.  The first Kahimunan Festival was observed in 1987 at Barangay Libertad of Butuan City.  This is where archaeologists discovered the historic Balanghai boats and is believed to be the dock of the old kingdom of Butuan.

This 2015, Butuan City will be celebrating its 28th Kahimunan Festival.

The Kahimunan Festival celebration:

As the event is on a Sunday, the festivity starts with a mass at the Sto. Nino Shrine Church where people give thanks for blessings received through the years.  Prayers are also said for a bountiful harvest in the year.  A street dancing parade competition highlights the day participated by religious groups and organizations, social and civic groups, schools, business establishments and fraternities.

Four teams compete for the title of Grand Kahimunan Champion wearing colourful folkloric costumes and dancing to the beat of the drums.  Each team carries a giant replica of the Infant Jesus as they dance their way to the Butuan Sports Complex.  The common chant is “Viva Senior Santo Nino” which means Long Live the Infant Jesus.

When is the Kahimunan Festival in 2016?

The Kahimunan Festival is on January 17, 2016, a Sunday.

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