In the province of Aklan, a week long festival is held to celebrate a traditional fiesta in honor of the Santo Niño. Held every third Sunday in the month of January, the Ati-Atihan festival is considered one of the most colorful and wildest festivals in the Philippines.
Black soot is painted on the faces of the participants and they wear bright, colorful and eccentric costumes while dancing during the last three days of the festivities.
A festival to honor the Santo Niño, this fiesta is observed with processions, parades, lots of dancing and merriment.
The Ati-Atihan festival is opened with a mass to give emphasis to the festival’s religious subject.
A rosary procession follows on the second day of the festival whch then ends with a community mass. After the religious activities, the festival now heads on to its merrymaking.
However, the highlight of the festival has yet to begin. Carried out on the last day of the festivities, various groups representing different tribes show off their colorful costumes and wild dance moves to cap the festivities.
The Ati-atihan’s festival dance competition is truly marvelous. Competitors donned in different costume, all with different adornments to their outfits, dance to the drumbeats. The festival caps off with a final procession that shows different images of the Santo Niño carried in bamboo torches.
Experience a colorful and truly festive celebration with the Ati-Atihan festival. Dance to the beat of the drums and end the night with a masquerade ball that will take your breath away.
In the 13th century, A group of Malay Datus who fled Borneo and landed in Panay Islands bought lands from its original dwellers, The Ati. To celebrate of the new pact and land ownership both the Malay Datus and the Atis held a celebration to commemorate the new pact. In order to show gratitude to the original dwellers, the Malay Datus painted their faces and bodies to look like the Atis.
Origin: Kalibo, Aklan
Festival Date: Event is usually held in January and lasts until the third Sunday.
Accommodations are abundant in Aklan and is close by to Boracay. We advise to book your reservations before the festivity and check local travel agents for travel plans and accommodation availability. This an exciting and wonderful experience of a historical Fiesta.