No street dancing in Butuan’s ‘Kahimunan Festival’ this year

NO STREET DANCING. Dancers clad in colorful costumes participate in the street dancing event for the Kahimunan Festival in Butuan City in this undated photo. This year’s street dancing for the festival is canceled in compliance with health protocols to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). (Photo from Butuan City PIO Facebook Page)

BUTUAN CITY – The annual celebration of the “Kahimuan Festival” here will still push through with limited activities due to the continued threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The festival is celebrated annually starting January 15 in Barangay Libertad here to honor the feast of the Santo Niño. The Santo Niño Shrine is also located in Barangay Libertad.

“This is the first time that we will not be able to (fully) celebrate the Kahimuan Festival, especially the street dancing activities, due to the threat of the Covid-19,” said Libertad Barangay Chairperson Menchie Diaz-Rosario in an advisory on Friday.

She said Butuan City is placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and that gatherings of people are still prohibited.

The ban on social gatherings, Rosario said, is among the health protocols strictly implemented here to fight the spread of Covid-19.

However, she said honoring the feast of Santo Niño through the yearly festivity will continue as daily novena masses will still pursue with a limited number of persons allowed inside the shrine.

A motorcade on Jan. 15 will still continue with the approval of the city government and will be conducted in strict observance of health protocols.

In January last year before the pandemic struck, around 400,000 devotees and visitors from the different towns and provinces in the region flocked at the shrine in Barangay Libertad and joined the religious activities, the motorcade and procession, and the street dancing.

“Kahimunan” is a Manobo term that means “to gather”. (PNA)

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