Photo Credit to

What started as a religious celebration in the year 1967-1968 has become one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines.

The Dinagyang Festival, also known as Iloilo Ati-Atihan, started as a welcome celebration and devotion to the Sto Nino in the late 1960’s.  The festivities were originally confined within the parish vicinity with only a number of tribes participating in the celebration.

Since then it has evolved into a grand annual festival celebrated all throughout the month of January in Iloilo.  The Dinagyang Festival paved way for other festivities to be included in the month long celebration including different dance competitions and a beauty pageant.

The highlight of the festival would be the Ati Tribe Competition where warrior dancers occupy the main streets of Iloilo City to perform their respective tribal dances. The participating dancers are covered mostly in black paint combined with colorful costumes made of indigenous materials.  This magnetic display of ingenuity caught the attention of tourists worldwide and has made Dinagyang Festival one of the most popular festivals in the country.

Dinagyang Festival is celebrated every 3rd week of January in Iloilo. For more information on the schedule of events, you can check the Dinagyang Festival Facebook page here.