Popular Marian Festivals in the Philippines
Filipinos has a very strong spiritual culture and for many years, The Virgin Mary still remains as the powerful symbol. Most Filipinos are praying the rosary everyday. We can see the image and the of the Virgin Mary anywhere in homes, church, chapels, schools, offices and etc. This attracts people from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
In this, Filipinos are celebrating festivals in honor of the Virgin Mary. These are Marian Festivals and are celebrated in different parts of the country. There are also towns and cities in the Philippines that aside from celebrating the festivals in honor of a town’s or city’s patron saint, each also has their own claim to the Virgin Mary with a festivity in Her honor and vigorously celebrated throughout the year.
Here are the known and popular Marian Festivals that are celebrated in the Philippines:
1. Feast of Our Lady of Candles in Jaro, Iloilo City: This Marian Festival is the biggest, extravagant and lavish religious pageantry in Western Visayas. The Highlights of the Festival is celebrated by the blessing of candles and the yearly procession of the patroness, the Nuestra Senora de Candelaria is followed by the fiesta queen and her court.
2. Manaoag Pilgrimage in Pangasinan: Every April of each year, thousands of pilgrims and devotees go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaog. In this, it has become a festival or fiesta in itself. Devotees and pilgrims made this place a religious tradition of gathering to honor the Virgin Mary. The miraculous image of the Virgin Mary attracts thousands of people, locals and tourists, that it became one of the province tourist attraction.
3. Antipolo Pilgrimage in Rizal: This Marian Festival is a month long celebration. This festival brings devotees and pilgrims to worship and adore the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage enshrined in Antipolo Church.
4. Tapusan in Kawit, Cavite: This festival is celebrated with a procession of gaily decorated floats decked with flowers honoring Mary. The participation of the town’s most beautiful young ladies symbolizes the purity and innocence of the Blessed Virgin.
5. Turumba in Pakil, Laguna: This festival is celebrated seven times each year and will fall between the months of April and May. The Tarumba Festival is celebrated seven times because it commemorates the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first is held on the friday before Palm Sunday and the last falls on the Pentacost Sunday. The highlights of the event is the procession of the centuries old image of the blessed Virgin Mary.
6. Obando Fertility Rites in Bulacan: This is a three day festival or fiesta in honor of the Nuestra Senora de Salambao, San Pascual Baylon and Sta. Clara. The festival is so great and popular because childless couples, thankful parents, grateful farmers and fishermen are dancing in the streets together with the women that are dressed in colorful costume praying for children and good harvest.
7. Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion in Intramuros, Manila: This Marian Festival is celebrated with a mass in honor of the La Immaculada, patroness of Intramuros. Then a grand procession of more than 50 Marian images from all over the country that is participated by thousands of devotees and pilgrims will follow.
8. La Naval de Manila in Quezon City: This Marian Festival is celebrated by a procession of the centureis old image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of La Naval carved in 1533 and given as a gift to the Dominican Fathers. This image is put in a beautiful decorated luxurious carriage in the form of a ship. The image is preceded by a dozen or so images of Dominican saints in the procession.
9. Feast of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in Naga City, Camarines Sur: This religious Marian Festival is celebrated in honor of Bicol’s most revered patroness. This Marian Festival is a week long fiesta that has many events. The events includes the street dancing competition, cultural shows and the fluvial procession of the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia down the Bicol river.
10. Flores de Mayo: This is most popular Marian Festival in the country. This Marian Festival is held everywhere in the Philippines. Flores de Mayo is celebrated in the month of May and is the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Marian Festival is celebrated with children who has cut flowers and baskets of petals marches down the church center aisle sprinkling the fragrant petals for Mama Mary.
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