Ati-Atihan Festival


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Ati-Atihan Festival

Third week in January
One of the most colorful festivals in the Philippines, held in Kalibo, the capital city of the province of Aklan. Originally falling on the Feast Day of Santo Niño (the infant Jesus), the celebration combines Christian and non-Christian elements.
Its origins are in the 13th century, when 10 families fled Borneo and landed on the Philippine island of Panay. There the resident Ati people gave them land. The Ati (also called Negritos or Pygmies) were small dark people, and after receiving the land, the story goes, the Malayan people blackened their faces to look like the Ati. Years later, the Spanish Christians, having converted much of the country, persuaded the inhabitants to darken their skin, wear warlike clothing, and pretend they were Ati to frighten away the Muslims. They were victorious over the Muslims and attributed their victory to Santo Niño. At that time, religion came into the festival.
Ati-Atihan means "to make like Atis." During the present-day festival, revelers cover their skin with soot and wear Ati costumes that are patchworks of coconut shells, feathers, and fronds. They converge on the main streets and around the town plaza and, to the beat of drums, shout "Hala Bira" ('Go on and fight!'), pound their spears, and repeatedly dance a two-step dance. From a distance, the celebrants look like a solid mass of people lurching and swinging in a frenzied rhythm.
See also Dinagyang and Sinulog
CONTACTS:
Philippine Tourism Center
556 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10036
212-575-7915; fax: 212-302-6759
www.wowphilippines.com.ph
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 152
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 288
References in periodicals archive ?
WATERFALLS, pina embroidery, the Ati-atihan festival.
NiA~o Ati-Atihan Festival held every third Sunday of January in the Municipality of Kalibo, Province of Aklan is the only festival to be legally called 'The Mother of All Philippine Festivals.
In January 2018 alone, the government shut down mobile networks during the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, and the Ati-atihan Festival in Aklan.
The town of Kalibo, famous for the annual Ati-Atihan Festival every January and which homes an international airport, is known to be the second-best (next to Caticlan) entry point of tourists going to the white island beach of Boracay.
1) They recall his participation at the 2000 Ati-atihan festival, an annual carnivalesque, street dancing-parade in Kalibo, Aklan on the island of Panay.
Every January, Filipinos all over the world celebrate the Ati-atihan Festival, which is primarily devoted to the Santo Nino, or Child Jesus.
We have the world-acclaimed Sinulog Festival of Cebu, the Ati-atihan Festival of Kalibo, Aklan, and the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City, all held in honor of the Santo NiAaAaAeA~o.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has assured revelers that roads leading to Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan and Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City are in good condition.
Aside from these two, Kalibo in Aklan continues to draw a number of visitors to its Ati-Atihan Festival, which also has the Santo Nino at the core of its festivities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Western Visayas has assured that major roads leading to the Dinagyang and Ati-Atihan festival sites are in good condition.
The bishop of the Diocese of Kalibo has decried the holding of a contest featuring scantily clad men and women as part of activities in this year's Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival in Aklan province.
Ibajay town, like 14 of the 17 towns in Aklan, celebrates the Santo Nino Ati-atihan Festival every second to third week of January.