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Philippines: Santo Niño de Cebù Festival to Resume in 2023

Fiesta Señor 2023

The traditional Santo Niño's feast is set to resume in January 2023 in the Basilica del Santo Niño de Cebu, announced Father John Ion Miranda.

The event will allow tens of thousands of devotees and pilgrims to return to the streets of Cebu to yell "Viva Pit Senyor," Long Live the Christ Child, the festival's common moniker.

The theme of the 458th celebration is "Santo Niño: Our Source of Peace in the Walk of Faith."

The organizer of the event made an urgent request to all devotees, pilgrims, and guests to follow health rules to keep everyone safe and to keep the religious celebration as solemn as possible.

The festivities were cancelled in the last two years due to COVID-19. 

Aside from the Novena Masses and the fluvial procession, some of the religious activities include the "Penitential Walk with Jesus,"  "Penitential Walk with Mary,"  "Traslaciones," or the meeting of the images of the Holy Family in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, and the procession of the image of Sto. Niño de Cebu on the feast day itself, January 14.

The Fiesta Señor Secretariat said that the local government of Cebu has given permission for the activities to start again, and they are already working with the Cebu City Police Office and other relevant government agencies to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

Aside from the religious activities, the tourist-famous Sinulog Festival is also set to make a comeback next year. The secular festival's origins can be traced back to Ferdinand Magellan, who offered the image of the Santo Niño to Queen Juana, Rajah Humabon's wife. 

It is said that the newly baptized queen danced while holding the image in her arms.

The Santo Niño de Cebù is a Roman Catholic name for Jesus' child that is associated with a miraculous image of the Christ Child that many Filipino Catholics believe exists. It is the oldest Christian artefact in the Philippines.

The dark wood statue is crafted in the Flemish manner and stands approximately 12 inches tall. It represents the Infant Jesus with the expression, posture, and attire of a Spanish king.

Cebu City, where the Santo Niño festival is held, is the principal city on Cebu Island in the Philippines and is also known as the Queen City of the South.

It is 824.5 kilometers away from Manila, the country's capital. -Kasmir Nema


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