VIGAN CITY, Oct. 27 – The week-long "Raniag (Twilight) Festival 2011 kicked off here Wednesday night through the holding of a candle floater at the Vigan River Cruise Dock and an acoustic competition at the Celedonia Garden, both in Barangay Beddeng Laud here.
Vigan City Mayor Eva Marie Singson Medina said this years festival has more exciting events than last year's because of the participation by residents and all officials from the citys 39 barangays.
The festival will end on November 1.
Other highlights of the festival are a Halloween and costume party at the Vigan Plaza Hotel; Search for Miss Silka Ilocandia 2011; flight of sky lanterns; Trick or Treat; the Raniag Street Dancing Competition, Raniag electric street parade and free concert at the Plaza; Café Leona Halloween Concert and Embassit band presentation.
All activities are set in the afternoon till evening. We are expecting again thousands tourists and visitors coming to watch the attractive events of our two-year-old festival, which was launched in October 2010, Medina said.
In street dancing, 39 contingents have the option to choose their costumes and style of dancing under the accompaniment of the Ilocano song Dikanton Malipatan (I Will Not Forget You), she said.
Medina disclosed that city employees will also join the colorful fantasy and float parade and street dancing.
Medina said the Raniag Twilight Festival was launched last year to offer thanksgiving to the Lord and dramatize the commemoration of the departed kin.
We remember our loved ones who have gone ahead through this Raniag – the Vigan Twilight Festival from October 26 to November 1, 2010.
"Raniag is an Ilokano term which means light. It connotes the light that we offer to the Lord in the thanksgiving; the beacon that symbolizes our love for our departed kin; and the warmth of the bonding renewed in reunion held during this time of the year, Medina said.
Halloween, Undas, Todos los Santos words synonymous to all Saints and all Souls Days. Fiesta ti Natay (Feast of the dead) is how it is called in Ilocos. But whatever term is used by various regions and cultures, the essence of this is remembering our dear departed in prayers and in many other ways. It is also thanking God for the gift of life and imploring His mercy for us, the Living, she added. (PNA)