Sinulog In Cebu

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The most popular festival in Cebu is the Sinulog. The Sinulog Festival coincides with the feast of the Santo Nio de Cebu, patron saint of the city of Cebu. The feast day of the Santo Nio commemorates the baptism of the chieftain of the province, his queen, and his subjects in 1521. At this ceremony, an image of the Santo Nio was presented as a gift to Queen Juana by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

Sinulog is a prayer dance performed before the image of the Santo Nino. The word is derived from a ritual that features a peculiar beat and body movement that simulates a sulog (Cebuano for "river current"). The dancer basically takes two steps forward, then one step back. The dance continues to be performed today in the patio of the Church of Santo Nio in Cebu City, notably by candle peddlers who act as proxies for shy devotees who hire them for their Sinulog dancing talent. The most elaborate rendition of the dance is performed with much pageantry to the beat of drums by groups of worshippers, pilgrims, and revelers at the annual Sinulog Festival, a Mardi Gras-style celebration culminating on the feast day of the Santo Nio. The festival attracts curious tourists as well as pious pilgrims from the many islands surrounding Cebu. Along with Sinulog dancing, the week-long celebration features processions, fireworks, cultural presentations, a carnival, cockfights, and much merrymaking.

People from many countries live in Cebu and are well integrated with the local population. The main religion is Roman Catholicism, while nearly every other religion is freely practiced. Although pre Spanish culture is still a way of life for some mountain villagers it is often woven into the cultures of other lands then expressed in song and dance extravaganzas such as the Sinulog festival. Such fiestas creatively mingle foreign influences with local folklore.

To see more pictures about Cebu and Sinulog, please visit our picture galleries. Both pictures on this page, as well as the ones in the galleries were taking by Paul during the Sinulog festivities, held on January 18 and 19, 2004. Please click here to see the series of picture galleries from the 2004 Sinulog pictures. You may also click directly on the following links, to go to the individual galleries:

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

Lastly, you can see the official site of Sinulog, by clicking on Sinulog Foundation, Inc.

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Copyright 2004, 2006 - Living In Cebu

Revised: 01/28/11 14:01:13 +0800