Ati-Atihan Festival

(redirected from Ati-atihan)

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
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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.
of Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan sent in a photo of his two-month-old Eros Matthew wearing a headdress as they watched the Ati-atihan. The photo title "Hala Bira" matches the child's facial expression at the moment of capture.
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.
The celebrations kicked off with a boisterous motorcade parade with Vic Cabe, the embassy's labour attache leading the pack of bikers to the venue, followed by an electric, tribal Ati-Atihan opening dance number performed in the outdoor grounds by the Aim Global Group.
Love Boracay began on Friday with Ati-Atihan dancers and drummers performing along Station 2, followed by paraw regatta and sail painting, with forums on environmental management and sustainable tourism scheduled in the next few days.
The Nazareno Translacion, Ati-Atihan, Sinulog, Lucban Pahiyas and Kadayawan are just a few examples of big festivities that connect our culture, livelihood, good health, great wealth and the power of our faith.
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.
Some of the biggest and most grandiose out of these are the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo or Sinulog in Cebu (both in January), Panagbenga in Baguio City (February), Moriones Festival in Marinduque (April) and MassKara Festival in Bacolod (weekend closest to October 19), among many others.
Famous among the festivals are the Ati-atihan in Panay; Masskara in Negros Occidental; Sinulog in Cebu and in other Eastern Visayan provinces; Payoy-pahoy in Samar; Kagayhaan Festival, Duaw Cagayan, and Sakay-sakay Lambago in Cagayan; Kadayawan sa Davao Festival and Apo Duwaling Festival in Davao; Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon; Bantawan, Festival of Festivals in Mindanao; Mindulani Festival in Butuan; Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon; Sayaw sa Obando Festival in Obando, Bulacan; Caracol Festival in Cavite; and Flores de Mayo and Santacruzan.
With the theme, "Kreuzulingen Fest - We are 100 percent Kreuzlingen," the event was marked with colorful parade highlighted by an ati-atihan dance that drew hundreds of spectators from the local community as well as the participation of 40 other countries.
It's very different from Cebu's Sinulog, Iloilo's Dinagyang or Aklan's Ati-atihan where the dancing and merrymaking are held on the streets and in different areas, allowing more people to join in the revelry.