The Ati-Atihan Festival: dancing with the Santo Nino at the "Filipino Mardi Gras": Dancing with the Santo Niño at the "Filipino Mardi Gras"

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    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In a country famous for its many festivals, the Ati-Atihan Festival on the island of Panay near the geographic center of the Philippines stands out not only for its devotion to the Santo Niño, or Holy Child, but because of its claim of being the country's oldest festival. Believed to date from 1212, this festival grafts the veneration of the Santo Niño onto a kind of thanksgiving commemorating the "voluntary" gift of land from the indigenous population to their "brothers" from present-day Borneo. This article traces the "Mardi-Gras-ization" of the festival through an examination of its more extravagant, public, and theatrical elements, while considering what this weeklong event means for its tens of thousands of active participants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-528
    Number of pages24
    JournalASIAN THEATRE JOURNAL
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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