A GUIDE TO

Important Festivals

MassKara - Bacolod City’s Premier Festival

Held annually on the weekend nearest October 19, the city’s charter day anniversary, MassKara’s unique character comes from the smiling masks that costumed revelers put on as they dance to the Latin beat along the city’s , main streets. Now a major tourists attraction of Bacolod, MassKara symbolizes the Negrense’s ability to rise above difficulties and to face the future with hope and confidence.

Pasalamat - La Carlota City’s Harvest & Thanksgiving Festival

Launched during the energy crisis of the 70’s, La Carlota’s Pasalamat Festival is celebrated every year on the weekend closest to the first of May, or Labor Day. The celebration features an Ecumenical Thanksgiving mass, games, sports competitions, agro-industrial fair. and streetdancing competition with the tribes dressed in indigenous materials and swaying to the beat of Sambita. The celebration is capped with the selection of Pasalamat Queen.

Ati- Atihan - Cadiz City

Held annually on the week of January nearest the 20th, the Ati-Atihan Festival of Cadiz City is highest by a street parade in honor of their patron saint, Senor Sto. Nino. Garbed in Ati costumes, various tribes also dance to the beat of their drums while carrying the image of the Sto. Nino. Devotees believe it was the Holy Infant who saved the village from the attack of pirates in the past through His intercessions.

Kali-Kalihan Festival - Don Salvador Benedicto

The youngest of the towns in Negros Occidental, Don Salvador Benedicto has already established a festival that annually draws visitors from Bacolod and nearby towns. Held during the last week of November, Kali-Kalihan highlights exhibitions by Kali experts and supernatural abilities like walking on live coal.

Sinulog sa Kabankalan

Held on the third weekend of January, the Sinulog in the town of Kabankalan is a thanksgiving celebration to mark the feast of the Sto. Nino. Highlight of the festivities is the streetdancing competition with the black-sooted and costumed tribes gyrating to the beat of drums.

Sinulog sa Ilog

Time was when the inhabitants of Buglas, as Negros Occidental was once called, who lived along the coasts of the island were constantly attacked by native pirates. With the spread of Christianity, however, these attacks were repelled by the settlers, presumably through the intercession of the Sto. Nino. The June celebration in Ilog depicts this historic past, with the costumed participants re-enacting the encounters between the Filipino Christians and the marauding pirates with spears and mincing dance steps.

Pintaflores Festival - San Carlos City

Coined from the words pintados and flores, Pintaflores depicts the old tradition of welcoming visitors through dancing as in the pintados during the coming of the Spaniards in the Visayas. As a distinction and reflection of the gentle disposition of the residents of this booming city in northeastern Negros Occidental where Pintaflores was born, flowers, instead of tattoos are painted on the bodies and costumes of the dancers. The Pintaflores streetdancing festival is held every November.

Panaad sa Negros

Launched in May 1993 as a special summer festival, Panaad sa Negros showcases the arts, culture and special products of the towns and cities in the province. With the Capitol Lagoon and Park as the center of activities, the week-long celebration features an agro-industrial fair, concerts, dance parade , band competition, special exhibits, religious procession, etc. More than the festivities, however, Panaad sa Negros is the Negrense’s way of giving thanks to the Almighty for blessings received during the year.


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