Ati-Atihan – Carnival in the Philippines

Although it is not related to carnival in Brazil or Italy, Mardi Gras and Fasching/Fasnet, Ati-Atihan takes place around the same time (actually the third Sunday in January) on Panay Island in the Philippines. Its origins are back in the 12th century when tribal chieftains fled from Borneo and were allowed by the local Ati people to settle there.

The inhabitants of the town of Kalibo, where the festival is held, are not (at least were not when we were there) especially well-off, but their imagination in creating costumes far exceeded anything else I have seen in Italy, Brazil or Germany at their carnivals. They used palm fronds and Coca-Cola bottle caps, anything that they could get their hands on without spending money to create fantastic costumes. The different groups all had music sections, and they paraded through the town each day accompanies by much merriment, eating and drinking.

Lots of folks on the way to the festival

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Locals enjoying the festival as spectators

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Spaniards later gave a religious aspect to the festival

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Headdresses with bottle caps

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Even without a lot of preparation, he still had a lot of fun!

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This guy from religious mythology also showed up to take a swig and join in the fun.

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Fun for the whole family!

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