Libertad, Butuan City boasts of its one-of-a-kind celebration, dubbed as the “Kahimunan Festival,” considered as the biggest festivity in the CARAGA Region. It is a version of Santo Niño celebrations, like the Sinulog Festival of Cebu City, where thousands of tourists, both local and foreign, gather to witness these extraordinary events.
Kahimunan is from a Lumad word meaning “gathering”. It is a way of Butuanons to show their big gratitude towards their Patron Saint. They give thanks for all the good things that happened in their life through the years and for the bountiful harvest and many blessings.
On the day of the festival, dancers are dressed up in bright costumes as they dance to native music. The main theme is a combination of the area’s pre-colonial culture and its affiliation with Christianity that reflects Butuan colorful past. The locals paint the streets with their decorated props and native ornaments such as baskets, spears, and other accessories. Some people wearing exotic costumes highly get the attention of the crowd.
The city government of Butuan exerts their best efforts to promote Kahimunan Festival to be one of the tourism events nationwide. The festival aims to promote the rich culture and tradition not only to the people of Libertad but also to the whole world.