The Philippines is known around the world not only for its stunning natural wonders but also for the locals' love to get together and celebrate. A proof of this is the long list of cultural festivals in the country. While some of them take place for just a day, a lot of them are celebrating for a week and even for an entire month.

Let's take a look at the below list to know more about the most popular festivals and holidays with Knowinsider.

TOP 15 Most Popular holidays in the Philippines for 2021

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Photo: Rappler.

1. Ati-Atihan Festival

When: January

This is perhaps the grandest festival in the Philippines, which lasts for the whole week, often starting its peak during the third Sunday of the month of January. With activities set from sunrise to sunset, people are parading on the streets with colourful paints on their faces and wearing indigenous costumes.

Where: Kalibo, Aklan

Reviewed by, the Ati-Atihan Festival is known as the granddaddy of the festivals in the Philippines, the celebration that started many festivals in the country. This festival in Aklan is also one of the oldest and is known as the best and the biggest Mardi Gras in the Philippines.

2. Kaamulan: Experience tribal culture

When: 21st March to 11th April 2020

Where: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon is the venue for its extraordinary festival beginning in the second half of February and extends to March 10. This one-of-its-kind jubilation glorifies culture and tradition of seven ethnic Filipino tribes of the province.

This festival is an amalgamation of a thanksgiving ritual for a good harvest, a peace pact amongst all the tribes, a datuship ritual and a wedding ceremony. According to the, tribal dances elevate the conviviality and gaiety in the atmosphere.

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3. Panagbenga Festival

When: February

Where: Baguio City

Panagbenga or the Season of Blooming is one of the longest Philippine festivals, observed during the entire month of February in Baguio.

This festival highlights the bountiful blooming of the flowers and to pay tribute to the rising up of the city from the 1990 Luzon earthquake.

4. Anibina Bulawanun: Extol rich harvest extraordinary festival

When: 8th of March, 2020

Where: Compostela Province

March brings in its wake the resplendent festival of Anibina Bulawanun that lasts for a week. The name ‘Anibina’ consists of two terms, ‘Ani’ meaning ‘harvest’ and ‘bina’ indicating ‘gold veins.’ As the name suggests, the festival rejoices in the abundant agricultural harvest in the Compostela Valley, famous for its mineral deposits.

The festival intertwines in the exultations the different themes highlighting the natural prosperity of Compostela Province.

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Photo: Pinterest.

5. Moriones Festival

When: Holy Week, March or April

Where: Marinduque

During the Holy Week in the country, people flock to Marinduque to experience the weeklong celebration of St. Longinus: the Moriones Festival.

Combining the Catholic pageantry with folk mysticism, people wear helmets and don in centurion costumes to reenact the beautiful and theatrical play where one of the locals play the role of St. Longinus and hide among the houses while the others search for him. It's a great way to spend meaningful time in the province aside from joining Marinduque excursions.

6. Flores de Mayo: Invoke Blessings of Virgin Mary

When: 1st May, 2020

Where: Whole Country

This is a month-long festival held in the entire country in the month of May. People evoke their devotions for Blessed Virgin Mary and glorify the finding of the True Cross by Helena of Constantinople and Constantine the Great.

People organize processions through the streets and march dressed as Biblical figures. As part of rituals, people recite the rosary and offer flowers and prayers to an image of Mary every night. After the procession and rituals, people share food and snacks. This is one of the unique festivals in Philippines.

7. The Pineapple (Pinyasan) Festival: Relish the Pineapple season

When: June 23, 2020

Where: Daet

The Pineapple Festival is held every year from June 15 to June 24 in the Daet district. It celebrates a unique variety of pineapple fruit only produced in this region and is called ‘Queen of Formosa.’ People take out colourful parades, where they march and dance in the streets in fanciful costumes.

The dances and celebrations are choreographed, rehearsed and present an engaging sight to the onlookers. The festival uplifts the art and culture of the region and also gives a boost to its agricultural industry.

8. Pahiyas Festival

When: May

Where: Lucban, Quezon

During the month of May, Lucban showcases a unique harvest festival also known as the Pahiyas Festival.

Locals decorate their homes in lively and vibrant colours. Farm produce like handicrafts, fruits, vegetables, and kiping (rice wafers) are hanging around the houses as decorations. People also bring in their own baskets and pick the fresh produce - free of charge!

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9. Bocaue Pagoda: Journey into Bocaue history

When: TBA

Where: Bocaue in Bulacan

Just as July knocks on the door comes Bocaue River Festival in the town of Bocaue in Bulacan. Held on the first Sunday of July, it commemorates the discovery of the miraculous cross floating on the Bocaue River 200 years ago.

People create a replica of this cross and parade it through the streets of the city. A procession is also taken down the river with a huge elaborately decorated pagoda float.

10. Pangapog: Thanking the harvest

When: 1st to 7th August, 2020

Where: Samal City, Davao del Norte

August welcomes Pangapog Festival in Samal City, Davao del Norte. Held from 1st to 7th of August, people offer thanksgiving for the abundant harvest in this festival. The festival begins with ‘Panawag Tawag’ ritual performed by Babaylan Teresita Lugam in Sama tongue. This succeeds with revelries and rejoicing that includes a brilliant motorcade accompanied by singing and dancing.

11. Aliwan Festival

When: April

Where: Pasay City

Although relatively new, the Aliwan Festival in Pasay City of Metro Manila, is by far one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines. Due to its popularity for Filipinos and foreigners, it is called the “Mother of all Festivals."

This festivity, which started in early 2003, is known as more of a competition than a festival. It aims to promote the diversity in the country, with thousands of participants showcasing their cultures, and the winner bringing home a million pesos as the cash prize.

12. Pintados Festival

When: June

Where: Tacloban City

A religious festival celebrated in the name of Santo Nino, the locals of Tacloban City parade around the city with their bodies and faces painted with vibrant colours of green and blue, which symbolizes Leyte’s ancestral people.

Locals fill the street and perform traditional dances in honour of Santo Nino. Some dancers also use designs that look like arbours to depict warriors who lived in Leyte decades ago. Join a Tacloban day trip to fully experience the province to the fullest.

13. MassKara Festival

When: October

Where: Bacolod City

The MassKara Festival in Bacolod is a giant masquerade party hailing from the country’s City of Smiles. Thousands of young people wear colourful masks decorated with flowers, feathers, beads, and paints.

14. Giant Lantern Festival

When: December

Where: San Fernando City, Pampanga

Anyone will feel the holiday vibes during the Giant Lantern Festival in Pampanga. San Fernando City or the Christmas Capital of the Philippines organizes the competition of giant lanterns during the weekend before Christmas Eve.

Participants create gigantic and bright lanterns made from locally sourced materials and parade them to each barrio in Pampanga before the midnight mass of Christmas. Add some Pampanga activities to make your Christmas holiday more special.

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15. Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

When: February or March

Where: Carmona, Cavite for 2020. Previously Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga

Unlike most of the traditional festivals in the country, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an extraordinary one and is often hailed as one of the top events in Pampanga. This 2020, however, it will be held at San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

This 3-day festivity will surely delight the attendees with things and activities that include flying, skydiving, formation flying, paragliding, aerobatic displays, and hot air balloons.

People all over the country and across the world gather during February to experience Asia’s longest-running sports event and to celebrate the heart’s day with their loved ones.

With plenty of famous festivals in the Philippines to celebrate, you can bask in the jovial ardour & feel the high spirits the beautiful country. Plan a trip to Asia during any month & experience the bliss.
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