Manila has several festivals and events calendared year-round. As a capital of the Philippines, it has a lot of different influences from all walks of life. These festivals border on religious, historical and Mardi Gras-like parties.
Feast Of The Black Nazarene
In early January, residents, devotees and tourist alike flock to the Quiapo Church in the district of Quiapo to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene. The Black Nazarene is the patron saint of the district. It is believed that the wooden statue of the Black Nazarene is miraculous. Many devotees will attest to the fact that their lives have been turned to the better by their devotion to the image.
During the feast, the statue is paraded around the streets of Quiapo District on top of a carriage being pulled on ropes by thousands of male devotees. These activity borders on pandemonium as each male devotee try to jostle each other for a chance to get to the rope and pull the carriage. Many people believe that their petitions and wishes will be granted by the Black Nazarene if they get the chance to pull the statue.
While this is going on, white towels are thrown through and fro to marshals atop the carriage. Marshals will then wipe the statue with these towels. These towels are then believed to heal or bring luck to the owner.
Feast Of The Santo Nino
The districts of Pandacan and Tondo celebrate this feast. Different images of the Santo Nino or the child Jesus is paraded around the streets of the district. Each statue is as different from the next one. Aside from the traditional garb of the Santo Nino, one can see a Santo Nino image dressed in a basketball uniform or a television fictional character.
Along the streets where the images are paraded, people add a cheerful touch to the celebration by dancing. Again, the religious devotion of the people of Manila is evident in the Feast Of The Santo Nino.
Grand Marian Feast
During September, it is the turn of the people of the Instramuros district of Manila to celebrate. Various images of the Virgin Mary are paraded atop beautifully decorated floats in the streets of Instramuros. Manila Cathedral is the starting point and end point of the procession.
Every 24th of June, residents of the city celebrate the founding of the city. Every year, the city government declares this day a non-working holiday so that residents and visitors alike get the chance to participate in the celebration. Ceremonies and programs in Manila City Hall and Rizal Park are held.
Chinese New Year
Binondo, where Chinatown of Manila is located, celebrates this event every Chinese New Year. Visitors and local residents get the chance to see the Chinese influence in the district. Street parties, dragon dances, lion dances and fireworks litter the streets in jubilant celebration.