Philippines is the 12th most populous countries in the world consisting of more than 7 thousands islands. Seeing at this fact, no wonder that Philippines has such a wide range of ethnic groups and cultures. These ethnic groups has their own traditions and festivals causing Philippines always has festivals to celebrate along the year. Some of these festivals are not only cheerful and adorable, but also unique and eccentric for people who have just seen the festivals for the first time. Some festivals below are the most eccentric festivals held in some areas in Philippines.
Ati-Atihan festival is held to respect the infant Jesus (Santo Nino) every third Sunday of January. This festival is claimed as the biggest festival in Philippines for it is celebrated not only by the Christians but also all religions in Philippines. People celebrate Ati-Atihan in a unique way – by painting their faces in black and wearing colorful and natural-themed costumes. This festival invites people to dance and gather around in the big roads accompanied by traditional Philippines music. To end the festival, a priest will come to light a torch as well as bring some images of the infant Jesus.
In a short period of time after the Ati-Atihan festival, Dinagyang festival is held in Iloilo city of Philippines. Just like the Ati-Atihan festival, Dinagyang festival is meant to honor the infant Jesus. The difference is that Dinagyang festival is also one way to celebrate the moment when the immigrants arrived at Panay – an island in Philippines – and bought the island for Philippines. Most festivals in Philippines including Dinagyang festival is celebrated by wearing colorful costumes and painting the faces with colorful strikes. A group of men and women dance in turn to tone the Dinagyang festival up.
If Thailand has the Monkey Buffet festival to tribute the monkeys, then Philippines has the Carabao festival to honor the water buffaloes. Water buffaloes have been very useful for the farmers in Philippines to help them hijack the field. For that reason, once a year a festival to appreciate the hard work of the buffaloes is held on May 15-16. Before the festival is held, farmers wash their buffaloes until they are clean and sleek, while during the festival, the water buffaloes are prettified by wearing accessories full of patterns and colors. Many carts containing flowers, food, and fruits are pulled by the buffaloes to be floated as the offerings.
These three festivals in Philippines symbolize how Philippines is varied in traditions and cultures as well as show that people in Philippines respect all the living creatures in the earth including buffaloes.