Last Updated: May 28, 2021

Dinagyang Festival

Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo is an important function in the Philippines’ events calendar. It’s marked on the fourth Sunday of January yearly, right after Sinulog.

The festival is held to show reverence of Santo Nino as well as to mark the onset of the arrival of Malay immigrants. This is an indelible part of the Philippines’ history, so much so that locals sometimes use it as a reference point for the historical events that led to the establishment of the festival as a prominent practice.

Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City, Philippines

The celebration of Santo Nino is marked with flamboyant costumes and traditional dances. The fun in this, especially for visitors, lies in getting acquainted with the local culture as well as getting a glimpse into the daily happenings in the country.

This celebration to honor Santo Nino is a three-day affair that is scheduled for January as aforementioned. Those planning to tour the Philippines in the first month of the year will be lucky to attend this colorful event.

Even for those who do not make it to the event, there is the option of visiting the exhibition where all the action is captured and framed for posterity’s sake. The exhibition is held at City Hall which remains open between Monday and Thursday from 8 AM to 5 PM.

The party is held in Iloilo City, hence the name Iloilo Dinagyang Festival. Look out for the innovation that has accompanied this festival over the years as this has influenced the manner in which other functions are celebrated across the Philippines. As one of the many key festivals in the island country, there is every reason why you should make efforts to attend one.

Dinagyang Festival History

This festival held in the famous city of Iloilo is sort of the Ilonggo version of “Ati-Atihan”. However, over the years of celebration, the festival gained a lot of fans and followers which made it a huge success. Each year, Filipino’s across the entire country would come and witness a wonderful display of folk and tribe dancing of school youths.

The festival is actually a 3 separate event and usually and consistently being held on the last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the month of January. And apart from the 3 main event days, the festival holds an opening salvo during the early weeks of January. It is an opening ceremony where different tribes represented by different schools perform street tribe dancing running through 5 different checkpoints or judging areas spread across the city.

It is a festival that celebrates and commends Santo Niño which was introduced by Magellan way back in the 15th century. It also marks the day the religion was bought upon by the Spanish regime when they first landed in the Philippines.

This festival is one of the biggest and widely known, not just in the Philippines but also in other countries in the world. Attending the festival, you’d see so many foreigners gathered, buying premium, stage-side tickets just to take part and participate in the grand festival.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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