Cebu City's local government and religious officials informed the public on Tuesday that they would modify next year's celebration of Sinulog Festival to comply with COVID-19 health protocols.
Sinulog is an annual festival held in honor of the Sto. Niño, or Holy Infant Jesus, every January and sees thousands tourists flocking to Cebu for festitvities and religious activities.
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The Cebu City government and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño relased a joint statement on Facebook announcing that some activities traditionally done for Sinulog will be forgone during the 456th Fiesta Señor.
The following Sinulog activies have been cancelled:
- Penitential Walk with Jesus on the Opening Salvo
- Penitential Walk with Mary on the last day of the Novena
- Traslacion or the transfer of the images of the Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe from Cebu City to Mandaue City and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City
- Fluvial procession and the reenactment of the first baptism, planting of the cross, and first wedding
- Solemn foot procession
- Proposed Cebu Provincial Pilgrimages
"The Augustinian friars and the Executive Committee of the Fiesta Señor, with the support of the Cebu City Government, will reappropriate the cancelled external activities to the upcoming 500 years celebration of the Arrival of the venerable image of Sr. Sto. Niño in coordination with the activities of the Archdiocese of Cebu in April 2021," the statement read.
The annual Feast of the Sto. Niño is celebrated in the country to honor the virtues of Jesus Christ as a child.
Religious gatherings and practices like a procession define the annual feast, but the Sinulog festival is also known for its vibrant street parties, singing competitions and concerts, and even beauty pageants.
Main image by Whirl Cascades on Wikimedia Commons.