The Sinulog Festival is Cebu’s most famous yearly festivity in honor of the Santo Nino de Cebu image in the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.
The Santo Nino image is one of the oldest religious relics in the country. When Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu in 1521, he presented the image as a baptismal gift to Rajah Humabon, his wife, Hara Amihan, and their followers in the Catholic faith, after they were baptized.
The Sinulog takes place every third week of January and culminates on a Sunday. The major activities during the festival week are the procession of the replica image in Cebu City’s major streets, a fluvial procession of the replica in the Mactan Channel, and the grand street parade on Sunday featuring floats and dancers representing schools, towns, and other organizations.
The dancers are dressed in bright colored costumes doing the Sinulog dance to the rhythm of drums, gongs, trumpets and other band instruments. The Sinulog dance is a forward-backward movement consisting of two steps forward and then one-step backward.