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

Peterson, William (2011) The Ati-Atihan Festival: Dancing with the Santo Niño at the "Filipino Mardi Gras". Asian Theatre Journal, 28 (2). pp. 505-528. ISSN 0742-5457 (print); 1527-2109 (online)

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cultural performance discussed: Ati-atihan. Place and region of performance: Kalibo, Aklan in the Panay Island, Western Visayas. Date of performance: January (Feast day of the Santo Niño).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aklan, Ati-Atihan, Catholicism, cultural performance, cultural performance criticism, rites and rituals
Depositing User: Repo Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2017 15:49
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2017 07:18

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