Sarakiki-Hadang Festival is celebrated in Calbayog City, Western Samar on the first week of Septemberin celebration of the city feast in honor of Our Lady of Nativity. This celebration is highlightedwith a presentation of street dancers dressed like chickens. They regale the crowd as they do their rooster’s courtship movements.
This vibrant festival takes its name from the local term ‘Sarakiki’ which describes the frenzied movements of a rooster as it tries to court a hen or challenges another rooster to a fight.Sarakiki is also a local term apparently referring to premeditated or frenzied movements which means to allure, to draw with, to attract or exercise attraction, to entice or to win. By its pre-colonial denotation, it means to praise, extol or eulogize spirits of gods. The word does not only ascribe to the ritual or hadang as an activity to gratify the gods, but likewise hadang as the offering or the sacrifice. “Hadang” therefore refers to the olden day rituals performed by the locals as offering to the gods. Participantsperform the rhythmic dance during the festival which is thought to cure the sick and bring a good harvest.
Dancers dress from head to toes in feathers and dance mimicking the movements made by the cockerels as they parade through the streets of Calbayog City in the Phillipines where it is held annually.People would assemble in the main streets to look on as performers flap their wings, scratch the ground, and wiggle their tails in a dance emulating the rooster as the city stages another performance of the Sarakiki-Hadang Festival. This "chicken dance" is the highlight of the festival with performers dressed to the nines as chickens and roosters dancing and cavorting as the line make its way through the city streets. The feast also features cultural shows, a body-painting contest, band competitions and a regional brain and beauty contest.
The celebration begins on September 1 and ends by September 26. This event showcases the religious fervor and sense of community. Homes are opened to anyone who wishes to partake of a home-cooked meal, spend a little time with the neighbors, and celebrate the life of their patron saint.
Photo Credit to: