SASMUAN’S ritual dance of Kuraldal has officially started with the celebration of the feast day of the town’s patron Santa Lucia on Thursday, with the Kuraldal season set to reach its zenith on the second week of January for the “Kuraldal Atlung Ari.”
Kuraldal Atlung Ari is an annual religious folk dance that has spawned hundreds of followers and believers through the years. It takes place at the chapel of St. Lucy, with participants taking part in a series of impassioned dances.
Spanish chronicler Fray Gaspar de San Agustin, OSA wrote in Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas (1698) that St. Lucy had been venerated in Sasmuan "since long ago."
The occasion is one for merrymaking and revelry, where rich and savory food abound and goodwill flows as Sasmuaneños open their homes to family, friends, pilgrims and strangers.
January 6, in the Catholic calendar, is used to be known and commemorated as the Feast of the Three Kings, hence the term Atlung Ari (Three Kings), according to Tomen.
Devotees from across Pampanga and neighboring provinces troop to this town, bringing with them hopes that an ardent wish, a long-awaited pregnancy and an immediate cure for a disease would be granted with their participation in the festivity.