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January 15, 2017 – Vienna, Austria – Notwithstanding the freezing weather in Vienna, hundreds of Filipinos came together to witness the Grand Sinulog Festival on Sunday, January 15, 2017 staged at the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy Church in Vienna’s 10th District.
Auxiliary Bishop of Vienna Franz Scharl was the principal presider at the 11 a.m. Mass.
Included during the festivities were the blessing of Santo Niño statues and a Sinulog festival. Sinulog, a dance ritual, commemorates the origin of the Cebuano people and their acceptance of Christianity. Traditionally, it’s a street parade filled with bright-colored costumes and loud beats of drums and native gongs.
The Sinulog festival in Austria was hosted by the Kapunungan ng mga Bisaya sa Austria and the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy.
Fr. Jose Conrado Estafia of the Philippine Chaplaincy thanked and congratulated the organizers and all those who contributed to the success of the celebration.
A nine-day novena mass was held prior to the fiesta at the Filipino Catholic Church in Vienna.
The Sinulog fiesta in Vienna is one of the biggest religious festival and celebration among the Catholic Community in the country. It is an annual cultural and Catholic religious festival centered in Cebu City, Philippines, to honor the Santo Nino de Cebu, the Holy Infant Jesus.
The statue of the Holy Infant Jesus at a Church in Cebu is an icon of the Philippines known to Filipinos throughout the world. As many as 5 million Filipinos – Catholic as well as other Christians – have been known to converge on Cebu City during the final, massive and colorful parade of the nine days long festival each year in January.
Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Austria