Dinagyang Festival is a spectacular event in the province of Iloilo where people in unique costumes dance all day and night every 4th week of January to commemorate the Christianization of the natives and to honor the Holy Child Jesus.
Dinagyang began in 1968 when Fr. Sulpicio Ebderes, OSA brought a replica of the image of Sr. Santo Niño to the San Jose Parish church. From then on, it has been enshrined on the said parish where novena is being held every Friday.
The first feast of Señor Santo Niño was celebrated in 1969, a year after its arrival from Cebu. After the nine-day novena was the fluvial processsion. From its first feast in 1969, the celebration was called "Iloilo Ati-Atihan" for it to be differentiated from the famous Mardi-Gras.
Dinagyang has not only been pure fun and laughter for the Ilonggos but also a time for thanksgiving for all the blessings they received.
- "Dinagyang Festival." Lakbay Pilipinas. http://www.lakbaypilipinas.com/dinagyang_festival.html (accessed on July 11 2007).