Aside from the many tourist attractions in Butuan and the warm hospitality of the locals, there is another reason why visitors often go here. There are many Butuan festivals all year round that are only celebrated here and every year these events become more colorful and livelier thereby drawing more and more visitors to this place.
Like the rest of the Philippines, Butuan has its patron saint and it is the Santo Nino. The Santo Nino is the Spanish word for baby Jesus. The Kahimunan Festival is in honor of Santo Nino and this Butuan festival has been celebrated since time immemorial. The word ‘kahimunan’ from the Kahimunan Festival means get together or gathering. During this Butuan festival the streets are lined with locals who have prepared dances for the occasion, theatrical performances and other religious ceremonies. The street dancers during the Kahimunan Festival practice months before the event and on the actual day they are dressed in traditional colorful costumes complete with accessories. One should think of the Kahimunan Festival as the one day of the year where all performances are offered to the Santo Nino so that He may continue to bless this province and its harvest. This Butuan festival is held in January on the third week thereof, and the Kahimunan Festival can be said to be a combination of something cultural and something religious.
Adlaw Hong Butuan
Since Butuan became a city, the Adlaw Hong Butuan has been celebrated year after year. During this Butuan festival, government and non-government organizations honor its present government as well as its former leaders who have contributed a great deal to Butuan becoming a chartered city. One must bear in mind that before a place can be declared a city, there are certain legal requirements that must first be met relating to economic status and population among others. The Adlaw Hong Butuan is held every August 2nd and the activities that are done on this day are held at the City Hall. Among the activities during the Adlaw Hong Butuan are beauty pageants where the Ms. Butuan City is crowned, it is a time when there are beautiful decorated floats that roam the streets, motorcades and of course, street parties complete with local bands. The main event though of the Adlaw Hong Butuan is the Palagsing Festival which is a contest of who can make the longest sticky rice cake. The best part is yet to come though because at the end of the contest, everyone gets to try the sticky rice cake. The Adlaw Hong Butuan is truly very different as compared to other Butuan festivals.