Monday, January 15, 2018

Kuraldal Festival, Pampanga

Viva Apung Lucia!



Last week, I, along with some travel bloggers, took part in the Kuraldal Festival. The Kuraldal Atlung Ari is an annual celebration held in Sasmuan, Pampanga, to celebrate and honor the town's patron saint, St. Lucy (Santa Lucia). It starts on Epiphany, the Feast of The Three Kings, on January 6, and ends on the fifth day, January 10th, with a ritual dance along the streets after mass. 
Kuraldal Festival
Devotees start by making a pilgrimage to Sasmuan during the fiesta on December 13 then continue in January for the Kuraldal season. The word Kuraldal comes from the Spanish curar which means healing and Sanskrit dal meaning split
Kuraldal Festival
Kuraldal Festival
They cry "Viva Apung Lucia! Pwera sakit!" (Hail St. Lucy! Away with illnesses!) as it is believed that St. Lucy heals sicknesses as well as infertility; others also participate in the festivities for wisdom (to pass exams), for luck (to win the lotto), and for protection (to be safe in travels). 
Kuraldal Festival
Kuraldal Festival
Unfortunately, we were not able to attend the culminating mass of the Kuraldal, but we did participate in the procession where people danced, swayed, gave thanks, and said their prayers to St. Lucy.
Kuraldal Festival
Devotees clambered up the makeshift stage to pick up flowers and leaves from the bouquets and rub their handkerchiefs on the image of St. Lucy.
Kuraldal Festival
Kuraldal FestivalKuraldal Festival
Kuraldal Festival
Kuraldal FestivalKuraldal Festival
Kuraldal Festival
My very sweaty self amongst the crowd

Kuraldal Festival
During our briefing, Jayson Salenga of the Sasmuan Tourism Office told us stories of a Kuraldal baby from parents who were finally able to bear a child after years of being infertile; and a lady who came all the way from Batangas to give thanks to St. Lucy for helping her survive cancer. 
Kuraldal Festival
Viva Apung Lucia! Pwera sakit!

After the procession, we were treated to some kakanin, tamales, lugaw, and tsokolate de batirol.
Kuraldal Festival
Kuraldal FestivalKuraldal Festival
The tsokolate de batirol made me miss my lola even more. She lives in Guagua, Pampanga. 
Kuraldal Festival
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