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Sto. Niño devotion spreads in UK and Ireland

IRELAND. Devotees in Ireland pull the processional cart of the Child Jesus during the religious procession in honor of Sto. Niño. (Photo by Dax Baldestamon)

LONDON -- Filipinos in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland will celebrate the Feast of Santo Niño and revel in the Sinulog Festival this January 2020.

The celebrations, which will mostly take place on January 19, will be led by different Filipino community organizations together with a number of parishes.

The Feast of Santo Niño is one of the largest and most vibrant religious and cultural celebrations in the Philippines originating in Cebu. In the Philippines, the feast is celebrated every third Sunday of January and is marked by votive events such as a novena mass, and street and fluvial processions that draw droves of Santo Niño devotees, as well as the Sinulog Festival, a dance ritual in honor of the Child Jesus.

"Over the years, the Feast of Santo Niño in the UK and Ireland has brought together and strengthened the sense of community among thousands of Filipinos who are devotees of the Child Jesus," said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo.

This year’s celebration marks the 22nd year since the Feast of Santo Niño was first celebrated in the UK, and the 21st since it was first celebrated in Ireland. The Feast of Santo Niño was brought to the UK in the 1990s by Filipino volunteers at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in London. It eventually spread to Ireland upon the reassignment of the church’s parish priest to Dublin. Since then, the Feast of Santo Niño has become an annual celebration, gathering thousands of Santo Niño devotees all over the UK and Ireland.

"I believe there is a need to celebrate our faith," said Marlou Patindol, the head coordinator of Santo Niño Ireland in the community’s commemorative souvenir programme. "No matter where in the Philippines one comes from, no matter what dialect one was taught as a child, no matter what state in life one is in right now, there is a need to show that we, Filipinos, can be together in expressing our gratitude and faith as one." (PR)


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