Jaro Fiesta – Devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

Jaro Fiesta – Devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

Annually, the Feast of Our Lady of Candles, formally known as Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, is celebrated on February 2. This religious devotion attracts not only local pilgrims and devotees but also tourists who wanted to witness the spiritual event.

Jaro-Fiesta

According to folktales, the discovery of Our Lady of Candles was in 1587 when fishermen have found an image of the Blessed Mother carrying an infant Jesus on her right arm and a green candle on her both hands in the riverbank of Iloilo. The Image was originally placed in a small church in Jaro and was later transferred to the Jaro Cathedral in 1864. In 1981, Pope John Paul II canonically crowned the miraculous image of Our Lady of Candles at Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral which became a National Shrine in 2012.

Our Lady of Candles is enshrined at the Jaro Cathedral. Starting from 4 in the morning, the cathedral is filled with thousands of enthusiasts for the early procession. Traditionally, devotees bring candles to be blessed and bring it home with the belief that those candles will protect them from harm and misfortune. People also light candles at the cathedral and pray over their desires and wishes.

Jaro-Iloilo

Because of this immense feast, police security is highly on alert for any crime or emergency. All the roads of Jaro are closed and there are no classes. The government yearly makes sure of a peaceful and safe celebration of this feast.

Aside from the religious activities, the Jaro Fiesta also features several events such as pageantry for the fiesta queen, cockfights, parades joined by different schools, agro-industrial fair and garden show at the plaza, concerts, bibingka selling and “perya” (carnivals) for attraction.

Ilonggos don’t just celebrate a mere fiesta but also observe religious activities.

Featured Image Source: Janine Angela N. Francisco

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