All About Ati-Atihan Festival 2018: Street Dancing,Costume,Drum beats

The Ati Atihan Festival 2018 is the mother of all Philippine Festivals held annually in the month of January Third Sunday in the Capital of Aklan, Kalibo. The festival is Celebrated in honor of the Sto. Nino (Child Jesus), the festival is lively, colorful and it’s a week-long fiesta! The dancers attract tourists from all around the world and these tourists then hit the shore on the sands of a nearby island named Boracay island for parties once the festivities are completed.

 Did You Know? Meaning of Ati-atihan is to be like Atis  

Ati Atihan 2018 dateOn New Year (Mardi Gras) 3rd Sunday People Gather in the Streets of Kalibo to celebrate the Event and everyone in the Festival look like ancient Worrier due to their costume. In the loud beats of drums and Songs People were Dancing and Enjoying on the Roads.

Ati Atihan Festival History

Ati Atihan FestivalIn the 13th century, Huge amount of Malay datus out of Borneo arrived at Panay Island during balangays, which they were able to cross over the ocean to flee the horrible reign of Sultan Makatunaw. They’ve been also welcomed warmly from the people of Panay. Datu Puti, Makatunaw’s who was the Chief Minister, he negotiates with them and make an agreement of exchange with the locals and bought the land in exchange of Golden salakot, bales of clothes and brass basins. Interesting thing happened when they gave a beautiful and charming very long neckless to the spouse of Ati chieftain.There local residents even managed the property in order for them to establish their residences on.

 Aklan is known for its ABC: A=Ati atihan Festival, B=Boracay Islands and C= Century Long Pinya Weaving Industry  

Face Painting Ati Atihan 2018 After some time, the Ati Local Residents started Facing Challenges as they have no food left due to the bad harvest, they were famished and there was nothing to eat, so to fill their hunger they started moving down from their mountain village.Interesting things happened when The Datus welcomed them and gave them Food and drinks to eat, Ati People were very happy due their attitude so they decided to give something in return and make them happy they painted their faces and arms with black color and wear different colorful dresses only to look like them. Now annually this celebration carried out in kalibo so show the unity bond between the two completely different nations.

As you know the Ati-Atihan has been a Cultural/Religious festival. After the Spaniards came to the Philippines, they transform the event by slowly incorporating Christian significance into this occasion. Even the Ati-Atihan festival slowly turned into a religious festival dedicated for Child Jesus.

How Festival is Celebrated ?

Since the Churches officially adopted Ati Atihan Festival, novenas and masses become the essential ingredient of the ceremony. Before the start of the festival people goes to attend the novenas and masses that is held for Santo Nino, People keep Praying until the end of the festival.

 Did You Know: Philippine Have 17 Festivals Each for 17 Municipalities. 

The 1st day Celebration is normally Start with the mass, in which there is drum beat people wear ati atihan festival costume even air is filled with sound of ati atihan music and there is Spiritual street dancing (sadsad) and parading of Locals and guests who come there to join the festival.

Street Dance During Aklan Festival

The 2nd day of the festival begun when the first ray of light appears in the sky, Festival start with novena. The slogan “Hala Bira!” and “Pwera Pasma!” is originally integrated with Santo Nino Ati Festival. They activities keep going on until next day morning, people don’t see if there is rain or sun heat they keep celebrating as they believe that something bad cannot be happens to them as they are protected by the child Jesus.

Boy With Black Face enjoying in atihan festival 2018

The 3rd day is very important day of the celebration and considered as cheerful and lively day of all the Festival Celebration. Almost Eighty Groups of Tribes compete eagerly with each other as there is one Million Philippine peso Prize is for the winner group. So, people Dress up in colorful and tribal costumes and some people paint there face mostly with the Black Color to represent and look like Ati’s People and wear ati costume to show their presence and come up on the roads by Parading and doing spiritual ati atihan street dance.


 Bamboo Torch Parade, End of Festival  

Last moments of the festivals starts when People walk behind the street dancers and follow them while holding the bamboo torches, Sculptures and holding paintings of the Child Jesus. Then judges announce the winner group on the basis of group costume and performance and at the masquerade ball winner group receive the one-million-peso prize and that’s the end of the great festival.

boy holding child Jesus in kalibo festival

Faith Healing

faith healing during Aklan festival

The Ati Festival hold a strong religious importance among the peoples. The faith healing process starts in the festival in which catholic rub the devotee body and the images of the child Jesus (santo nino) on the human body. They believe that it heals the soul and body and if there is any illness this healing process cure that illness.


holding child Jesus in Santo Niño

Ati Atihan festival 2018 schedule

Ati Atihan 2018 ScheduleAti Atihan 2019 ScheduleAti Atihan 2020 Schedule
3rd January 2018 Click Here for day to day activities
3rd January 2019
3rd January 2020

Miss Millennial Aklan

Miss Millennial Aklan Philippine 2017Miss Millennial Aklan have a Special Message for The World and his thinking about the Festival
It is more than just a festival, more than just the beats of the drums, the dancing of the crowd, and definitely more than just the merry making with family and friends.

This is most famous fiesta in the country. It is dedicated to the patron saint of Kalibo,Through years of being a part of this festival, I see and feel so much more than just a “fiesta”. I see the passion of my people. The love and faith they have in our culture. The pride of our home and how much more it has to offer. It is what makes Aklan unique and without it, Aklan wouldn’t be the same.

Without this festival, where everyone from each municipality gathers to celebrate, there wouldn’t be those thousands of drum beats thundering every second, there wouldn’t be those colors splashing in every corner, and there wouldn’t be that strong faith that holds my people together.

 Security of the Festival 

Philippine police security for aklan festivalSecurity of the festival is very important because lot of foreigner going to join the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival 2018. Organizers of the event design a good security plan as there will be more than 1500 Policeman, there will be Army solders available too for protecting the peoples and intelligence agencies will help to secure this year festival.


Aklan short introduction

Here is the short description of the Aklan City. Aklan is the province of Philippine and its capital is Kalibo.
Its is belived that aklan is established in the 12 century, there is 17 municipalities of Aklan and Kalibo is most populated from all of them.
Mostly there are four languages are common in Aklan.

  • Akeanon
  • Buruanganon
  • Malay
  • Ati


 Kalibo Short introduction 

Kalibo is the capital of Aklan, Philippine. Kalibo is famous for its Ati Atihan Festival and the Bakhawan Eco-Park which is the first largest echo park of Asia.
Common Languages of Kalibo are.

  • Aklanon
  • Hiligaynon

 Boracay island 

Boracay is a small island, It is most famous and beautiful island in Philippine situated in south Manila and Northwest Panay islands.Previously is was in Aklan but now it become an Self-governing State, Boracay islands have famous while Beach.

Kalibo Hotels for Ati Atihan

There are many hotels in Kalibo for Aklan Ati Atihan Festival but make sure you book your hotel before Festival as in last year hotels are booked and there was no space available for the guests coming out side of the country this cause serious problem to the guests.

Here is the list of the Kalibo Hotels:

  • Ati-Atihan Festival Hotel
  • Kalibo Hotel
  • La Esperanza Hotel
  • Center Parkway Pension House
  • Hotel Carmen at NVC
  • Basa Hotel
  • RB Lodge Kalibo
  • Papierus Pensionne
  • Roz And Angelique’s Inn & Suites
  • Lingganay Boracay Hotel Resort
  • Paradise Bay Beach & Watersport Resort
 Hotels Address And Contact Numbers 
main entrance of ati atihan festival hotelAti-Atihan Festival Hotel19 Martyrs St, Kalibo, 5600 Aklan, Philippines+63 36 500 7620
main entrance of kalibo hotel hotelKalibo Hotel476 N. Roldan St, 5501 Kalibo, Philippines+63 36 982 9348
main entrance of La Esperanza HotelLa Esperanza HotelOsmeña Avenue, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines+63 36 262 3989
main entrance of Center Parkway Pension HouseCenter Parkway Pension HouseC & A Building, Osmeña Avenue, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines+63 917 325 8067
main entrance of Hotel Carmen at NVCHotel Carmen at NVCPastrana Street Kalibo, Philippines+63 36 268 3120
main entrance of Basa HotelBasa HotelRoxas Avenue, Andagao, Kalibo, 5600, Philippines+63 36 262 1482
main entrance of  RB Lodge KaliboRB Lodge KaliboPastrana St and N. Roldan Street, Kalibo, Philippines+63 36 268 5200
main entrance of  Papierus PensionnePapierus Pensionne0647 Osmeña Avenue, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines+63 36 268 5285
main entrance of  Roz and angelRoz And Angelique's Inn & SuitesJaime L. Cardinal Sin Ave. Pook, 5600 Kalibo, Philippines+63 36 268 3121
main entrance of Lingganay Boracay Hotel ResortLingganay Boracay Hotel ResortTulubhan, Manoc-Manoc, Malay, Boracay, 5608 Aklan, Philippines+63 36 288 5734
main entrance of Paradise Bay Beach & Watersport ResortParadise Bay Beach & Watersport ResortBoracay Island, Malay, 5608 Aklan, Philippines+63 36 288 5124
Ati Atihan Festival
The Ati Atihan Festival is the Philippines Most Popular Festivals held annually On New Year (Mardi Gras) 3rd Sunday in Kalibo, Aklan.
Starts: 01/21/2018 12:00 am
Ends: 01/28/2018
Duration: 18 hours: and 30 minutes
Kalibo, Aklan Philippines
P.O. Box: 0000
Kalibo, Aklan

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ati atihan