The Sinulog festival is an annual 9 day event culminating with the grand parade which takes place on the 3rd Sunday of January. The festival is held in honour of Santo Nino, celebrating the origin of the island of Cebu. The first Sinulog parade was held in 1980 and featured school children dancing the sulog, a two step forward, one step backward dance. The participants come from all over the Philippines and there are prizes awarded to the best performers in various categories.
Although the grand parade takes place on Sunday, there are several activities going on in the preceding 8 days such as beauty pageants, exhibitions and street parties.
The day before the grand parade sees the Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto Nino. Thousands of people march through the streets of Cebu to the Basilica del Sto Nino carrying their Sto Nino replicas.
The grand parade starts at 9:00 am on Sunday and continues through till around 6:00 pm. The costumes are amazing and it’s hard to imagine how the children can dance continually for hours in the heat but they cope very well. There’s a grand fireworks display at 7:00 and the festival ends with street party bands in various parts of the city.
Visitors come from all over the world to see this spectacle and so accommodation is usually fully booked months in advance. And of course the prices go up. The only sensible way to get around the city during the grand parade is by foot. So many roads are blocked that traveling by car is a nightmare.
If you’re going to watch either the Saturday or Sunday parades, keep a close eye on your possessions as snatchers abound. [more]
The Sinulog Festival
If Bacolod City has Masskara festival, Cebu City boasts of its Sinulog Festival. Truly famous around the globe, the Sinulog Festival attracts both local and foreign tourists. This feast is celebrated in honor of the baby Jesus, locally called Sto. Niño. This local feast is celebrated with two kinds of parade: the solemn procession of the Sto. Niño and the dance parade by devotees. First is the solemn procession where every participant must bring his Sto. Niño and light a candle. After which the participants who are asking for something from the baby Jesus must join the dance parade.
The Sinulog Festival is celebrated during the whole month of January. Activities include cultural shows, beauty pageants, art competitions, exhibitions, firework displays, and parades. But if you have limited time and money, I suggest you go there from the 15th to the 19th of the month since the highlight is held between those dates. [more]
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Cebu City Sports Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City
6000 Cebu City
Tel: +6332 253-3700
Fax: +6332 254-5010
Website: Sinulog Festival
Entertainment, Festival, Amusement Park in Cebu City
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Part of Travel Guide: Cebu