Kadayawan Festival celebration the bounties of harvest and serenity of living

The Kadayawan Festival is an annual festival in the city of Davao in the Philippines. Its name derives from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, from the Dabawenyo word meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful. The festival is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. Previously, this festival held in the third week of August every year which was highlighting the 11 tribes of Davao City. In 2019, the celebration was extended and held from 2 to 31 August. In 2020, Kadayawan Festival was celebrated from 10 to 17 August. The festival’s name is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw,” meaning treasured or valuable. In old-time people used to display fruits, vegetables, flowers, rice, and corn grains on mates and were showing the sign of respect for the great year they have had. Also, people were dancing and singing in front of their homes, it’s continued today as well. In the year 1970, Mayor Elias B. Lopez had encouraged all the Davao tribes to showcase their thanksgiving rituals.

After that in the year 1986, the Davao City government focused on uniting the people in the turbulent times of the Martial Law. At this time the festival named “Apo Duwaling”. This name was created as a combination of three natural wonders: Mt. Apo, Durian, and Waling-waling. In the year 1988, this festival officially named as “Kadayawan Festival” by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. At present, after over 30 years this gets celebrated with the full of enthusiasm and unity in the people. As one of the major annual festivals in the Philippines, a lot of effort goes into this highly-anticipated event. It’s a real pillar of the Davao culture, bringing together locals and travelers alike for good food, drinks, music. From floral float parades to fun street dancing, you can be sure that Davao’s Kadayawan Festival has something for everyone. Read on to learn a bit more about how this tradition came about and the schedule of holidays in the Philippines for Kadayawan Festival. The festival’s name is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw,” meaning treasured or valuable, as the locals use this time to give thanks for the season’s bountiful harvest. Back in the day, the ethnic tribes of Davao would come together to celebrate abundant crops, performing rituals that paid tribute to the nature gods. They used to display fruits, vegetables, flowers, rice, and corn grains on their mats and at the front of their houses as a sign of respect for the great year they’ve had. They used to sing and dance as well, much like what they do today. In the 1970s, then Mayor Elias B. Lopez, encouraged the different Davao tribes to showcase their thanksgiving rituals. In 1986, the Davao City government launched a project that aimed to unite the people during the turbulent times of the Martial Law.

Back then, the name of the festival was called Apo Duwaling, after three natural wonders you can find the region: Mt. Apo, Durian, and Waling-waling. It was first officially renamed as the Kadayawan Festival in 1988 by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and now, over 30 years later, it’s still being celebrated. Some activities like the Dula Kadayawan allow you to interact with the locals during their performance. Enrich your festival experience not just by watching and attending but taking part in some of the performances too! Why not, right? No trip is complete without shopping for goodies! The Kadayawan Festival will open a lot of booths, weekend markets, art stores, and more for your buying pleasure. You’ll be sure to find worthy keepsakes and gifts here. If you have parades or weekend markets that you want to catch, make sure you review what time they’re open, where they’ll be held, and what days you can find them. There are plenty of activities to choose from, so start selecting early to avoid feeling overwhelmed during the festival proper. Choosing also means familiarizing yourself with the schedule and being there first, which can help you secure a spot for the views.

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