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
References in periodicals archive ?
WATERFALLS, pina embroidery, the Ati-atihan festival.
Organizers in the 1970s decided to move it a week after the Kalibo Ati-Atihan in neighboring Aklan province.
MANILA, Philippines With a big number of tourists expected to attend the Ati-Atihan in Aklan and the Dinagyang in Iloilo, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has deployed maintenance teams to ensure road safety in the two provinces.
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.
In a recently held Strategic Briefing on PD 1865 and other related laws at Ati-atihan Country Inn here, Engineer Rey Maleza of the DOE-Visayas Field Office, reiterated that retailing of liquid petroleum products shall only be carried out through fixed and permanent dispensing pumps and not from above-ground tanks, tank vehicles, drums, barrels, or the similar containers, as stipulated in the Department Circular No.
Preparing for the 2000 Ati-atihan, a week-long street-dancing festival celebrated in the Central Philippines in honour of its unofficial patron saint, the Santo Nino or the Holy Child Jesus, has been the focus of his days.
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.
Every January, Filipinos all over the world celebrate the Ati-atihan Festival, which is primarily devoted to the Santo Nino, or Child Jesus.
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 local music of Banda Kawayan and performances by the Ati-atihan dancers provided a festive atmosphere, as passengers disembarked from the cruise ship during its call at the port of Manila.
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.
Both the Sinulog and the Ati-Atihan are held every third week of January to celebrate the feast of the Holy Child Jesus.