After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Church officials announced this week that the province of Cebu will once again hold the “Sinulog” festival in January.
“With profound gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sto. Niño, the Augustinian Friars of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, in coordination with the City Government of Cebu and the different sectors both from the government and non-government organizations, joyfully announces the forthcoming 458th Fiesta Señor,” read a statement from Augustinian Friars of the Basilican Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu.
The friars announced that all religious activities related to the “Fiesta Señor” — the “Penitential Walk with Jesus” on January 5; Novena Masses from January 5 to 13, the “Penitential Walk with Mary” on January 13; the “traslaciones” to the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-lapu; the fluvial procession; and the Solemn Procession of the Venerable Image of Sto. Niño de Cebu — will be held.
The theme of the 458th “Fiesta Señor is “Sto. Niño: Our Source of Peace in the Walk of Faith.”
The Augustinians said the Santo Niño “is truly our source of joy and peace. He is truly with us amidst the challenges and difficulties that we face.”
“Peace is essential as we continue to gather, pray and celebrate our faith as members of the body of Christ,” it added.
The religious congregation said that as Catholics around the world celebrate the “Synod on Synodality,” which continues until 2024, “we continue to reflect on the importance of journeying together towards God in oneness of mind and heart, guided by the Word and Spirit of the Lord.”
“Christ calls us to remain in Him, to build God’s kingdom and to respond to our vocation and mission as His disciples,” read the Augustinians’ statement.
“As we resume all our religious activities this forthcoming Fiesta Señor, we appeal to all devotees, pilgrims, and guests to adhere to all protocols which are being implemented for a safe, orderly, and solemn conduct of our religious celebration,” read the statement.
“Let us be mindful, quoting from the solemn blessing of the Sto. Niño Mass that ‘a good Christian makes a better citizen.’ Let us continue to walk with Christ who is the way, the truth and life,” it added.
Over a million devotees usually crowd the streets of Cebu during the religious procession and the grand “Sinulog” parade.
The “Sinulog” is a traditional dance that natives of Cebu offer to their gods before Portuguese explorer Fernando de Magallanes or Ferdinand Magellan gifted the queen of Cebu the image of the Child Jesus when she was baptized a Christian.