Why burning ritual occurs at Himala?

LAOAG CITY, May 4 (PIA) – Festival goers may have noticed of the burning rituals during the annual sand festival, Himala sa Buhangin.

The practice was not born out of whim. It was drawn from the Ilocano culture of burning dried rice straws in the fields after the farming season to usher in a new cropping season.

The capitol information office said the burning ritual at the sand dunes symbolized the Ilocanos’ deep appreciation to the tradition.

Old-timer Ilocanos believe that a new cropping period means a crack for a better, bountiful harvest and a shot at a new life.

It was the same ritual adopted in the sand festival where art installations that were raised from the ground by dozens of hands in several were razed to the ground in one fell swoop.

Thousands of people gathered in one place during the festival. It was indicative of the Ilocanos’ sense of unity and call for every one’s participation in the Ilocos Norte patroness, La Virgen Milagrosa festival.

Since its launch in 2012, the festival had featured giant bamboo installations which symbolized the galleon ship that brought the miraculous statue of La Milagrosa along the white sands of Logo Cove in Barangay La Virgen Milagrosa in the Municipality of Badoc more than 400 years ago.

Burning the bamboo art into ashes imitates the galleon ship sinking into the sea, leaving only the great history and legend. Nevertheless, the act also signifies the birth of new and greater things as replacement to the old.

Ultimately, the burning ritual connotes that the Ilocanos are ready for a more plentiful harvest for the coming years, the Capitol info office said.

Himala sa Buhangin! Festival is one of the highlights of the Provincial Fiesta in honor of Ilocos Norte’s patroness, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc. (Cherry Joy D. Garma/PIA-Ilocos Norte)