The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival
A Yearly Sinulog Festival Held in Berlin and Hamburg by the Filipino CommunityApril 04th, 2018
January 24, 2018, saw the Filipino community celebrate one of their most popular holidays, Sinulog, in the streets of Hamburg and Berlin. While the main festivities of the holiday take place in the Philippines, those who were in Germany still celebrated at their parishes in their bright and festive clothing to mark the occasion.
The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival, Sinulog for short, is an annual cultural and religious festival held in the Philippines to celebrate the Santo Nińo, or child Jesus. Traditionally held on the third Sunday of January, Sinulog, is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. As the citizens of Cebu, the region in which the holiday began, celebrate their patron saint.
Typically, bright displays of pageantry and festivities line the streets of Cebu. This holiday is known for bringing people from far and wide to take part in traditional dances and street foods that can be found throughout the region. However, this holiday has spread through large parts of the Philippines and even across borders as those who immigrate take their holiday with them.
Perhaps more subdued than a traditional Sinulog, the German-Filipino community made sure to throw a festive holiday in Berlin and Hamburg. The Filipino community in Germany turns out each year in celebration of Sinulog. Each year, large masses are held at various congregations followed by large displays and reenactments of traditional dances and rituals that accompany the holiday back in Cebu.
This year the German Filipino Community celebrated their traditional Sinulog Festival in Hamburg as a tribute to their Ambassador Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek. Ambassador Thomeczek is retiring this year after 27 years of diplomatic service between Germany and the Philippines. While wishing Ambassador Thomeczek a sad farewell in Hamburg, in Berlin they held their celebrations in welcome to their new representative, Minister Lilibeth Pono. Taking the holiday as an opportunity to bring together new and old.
This yearly celebration is important to the local Filipino community as Consul General Donna Rodriguez put at the Sinulog Festival of 2017, “For many years now, the Philippine community in Berlin has celebrated the feast of the Sto. Niño every January. The yearly re-enactment of what we believe to have happened during the very first Sinulog in 1521 serves not only to renew our devotion to the Sto. Niño but to rejuvenate our oneness as a community even as we face both the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead.”
With such a reaffirming of faith and community togetherness this yearly festival brings, it is no wonder that it was chosen to bid farewell and welcome to such pillars of the German-Filipino community. Surely this yearly festival will continue to be a source of community in Germany for the German-Filipino community in the years to come.