On every third Sunday of January the annual Sinulog Santo Nino Fiesta is celebrated at our local parish. This year as he’s been doing since he was born, Daniel dressed up in a Filipino traditional costume – the Barong Tagalog (Filipino dress). The barong is normally worn at formal events like weddings and important meetings, however barongs can also come in short sleeved version and other colours, which can be worn at less formal occassions.
Every year our parish (and other parishes around the world) organises a festival to celebrate the Santo Nino (Christ Child).
Sinulog is the ritual prayer-dance honoring Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. An image of the Child Jesus is said to be the baptismal gift the Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan gave Hara Amihan (Humanay) of Zebu (now Cebu) in April 1521. The image, believed to be miraculous, is housed at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in downtown Cebu City. – Thanks Wiki!
The Filipinos in our community work throughout the whole year putting together small events leading up to the January celebration. Hours of cooking and rehearsals over the months leading up to the festival culminate into what is truly a colourful and joyous occassion that brings the community together. It also introduces people unfamiliar to Filipino cuisine and culture to the tasty and rich history of the country.
This year the attendees of the festival were treated to a plate of lechon (suckling pig), pansit (noodles), caldareta (a beef stew/cassrole type dish with potatoes, carrots and sausaget etc) and of course rice! And all free of charge.
Then the loud beat of the drums and lines of dancers of all ages dance their way into the venue in a water current-type movement – two steps forward one step back to the sound of the drums.
Lots of colour, music and welcoming smiles that Filipinos are well known for are displayed for both visitors and parishoners alike.
Hopefully we’ll see you at the Santo Nino Festival next year! Keep up to date with the festival announcements here.