Ati-Atihan Festival


Also found in: Wikipedia.

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 ?
Also among the performances were the moves of the Support Services for the Ati-Atihan Festival and Finance Services for the Masskara Festival.
It was over 40 years ago, in 1977, that he was first acknowledged as a painter, when he bagged second prize at the annual competition of the Art Association of the Philippines, for an acrylic on canvas painting depicting the frenzied Ati-Atihan festival from an elevated view.
He also provides an in-depth examination of the popular Moriones festival in Marinduque, the Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo, and the 2013 Aliwan Fiesta or national street dancing competition in Manila.
WATERFALLS, pina embroidery, the Ati-atihan festival. These are some of the other places and features tourists can see when visiting the rest of the province of Aklan.
Her previously untapped skill, which she has since honed, has led her work to be recognized in local competitions: She has won second place, for a photo titled "Panata," Dinagyang Festival 2014 Photo Contest, in Iloilo City and first place, for her entry "Girl Ati," Kalibo Ati-atihan Festival Photo Contest 2017, in Kalibo, Aklan.
In 1800, when he was assigned in the town of Kalibo, he also duplicated the Kalibo Ati-atihan Festival there.
(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.
The festival started as Ati-Atihan festival, but organizers in 1977 changed its name to 'dinagyang,' from the Hiligaynon word 'dagyang,' or merrymaking.
It is akin to the popular Ati-Atihan Festival of Kalibo town in Aklan province, which is a four-hour drive northwest of Iloilo City.
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.