Viva Sto. Niño: List of Festivals Honoring the Child Jesus

To Filipinos, the first month of the year is not just for the celebration of the New Year. As a country dominated by the Christian religion, January is also the month of Santo Niño or the Holy Infant Jesus.

The Origin

The wooden image of the Sto. Niño is the oldest religious image in our country. It is made by Flemish artisans, was brought by Ferdinand Magellan, and given as a baptismal gift to Queen Juana. 44 years later when the big part of Cebu was set on fire, one of the Spanish soldiers found the image of Sto. Niño in a burnt house, unscratched. Since then, the image has been treated as a patron saint by the Cebuanos. At present, only a replica decorated with gold and precious stones is displayed inside the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño while the miraculous image is kept in the Parish convent.

List of Sto. Niño Festivals

The following are the various spiritual-cum-cultural festivals celebrated in the first month of the year:

  1. Ati-Atihan Festival
  • Where: Kalibo, Aklan
  • When: 3rd Sunday of January
  1. Dinagyang Festival
  • Where: Iloilo City
  • When: January 20 – 22
  1. Binanog Festival
  • Where: Lambunao, Iloilo
  • When: January 10 – 16
  1. Sinulog (Kabankalan) Festival
  • Where: Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental
  • When: January 10 – 16
  1. Makato Sto. Niño Festival
  • Where: Poblacion Makato, Aklan
  • When: January 15
  1. Kahimunan Festival
  • Where: Libertad, Butuan City
  • When: January 16
  1. Kinaradto Festival
  • Where: Buenavista, Guimaras
  • When: January 16
  1. Altavas Sto. Niño Festival
  • Where: Poblacion Altavas, Aklan
  • When: January 21 – 22
  1. Ibajay Ati-Ati Municipal Festival
  • Where: Ibajay, Aklan
  • When: January 24 – 25
  1. Hinirugyaw Festival
  • Where: Calinog, Iloilo
  • When: January 30 – February 6
  1. Sto. Niño Festival
  • Where: Malolos, Bulacan
  • When: Last Sunday of January
  1. Lakbayaw Festival
  • Where: Tondo, Manila
  • When: 3rd Sunday of January
  1. Dinagsa Ati-Atihan Festival
  • Where: Cadiz City, Negros Occidental
  • When: January 24 – 30
  1. Sinulog Festival
  • Where: Cebu City
  • When: 3rd Sunday of January

Aside from the Philippines, devotees of Sto. Niño are also found in various countries including Spain, Mexico, and Peru. It also has different names per country like Infant of Prague in the Czech Republic, El Santo Niño de Atocha in Mexico, and Santo Bambino di Ara Coeli in Rome.

Have you experienced attending any of these events? Or do you know more festivals honoring Sto. Niño? You can share your thoughts and experiences on the comments section provided below.

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