SINULOG 2020: The “Hubo” ritual concludes the Sinulog festivities

The “Hubo” ritual, or the undressing of the Sto. Niño image takes place five days after the Grand Sinulog Parade, which was held every 3rd Sunday of January.

SINULOG 2020: The "Hubo" ritual concludes the Sinulog festivities | Cebu Finest

SINULOG 2020: The “Hubo” ritual concludes the Sinulog festivities

Hubo is the Cebuano word for “undress”. During the mass, priests ceremonially remove the festival garments of the image, bathe the image in water laced with perfume, and enrobe the image with ordinary vestments. According to Catholic tradition, the change of garments to less decorated ones symbolizes spiritual change within a person.

The bathing of the child Jesus also has a significant meaning. When the image undergoes bathing, it symbolizes purification and cleansing to “renew ties with God”. The water used to wash the image is then referred to as “holy water.”

The new, ordinary garments are also used to elicit prayer. Every piece of clothing is taken to signify an event of Jesus’ life, and a prayer is recited for it.

Catholic Cebuanos believe that just as the Sinulog festival closes the Christmas season, the Hubo mass also closes the week-long fiesta and opens the Lenten season. In the past, the Hubo ritual was held behind closed doors by Augustinian friars and select women. After the public learned of the private ritual, the church finally made the ceremony public in 1990. Any church or parish is permitted to hold the ritual if it wishes to.

Be one with the Cebuanos as they celebrate the “HUBO” mass ritual at the Basilica del Sto. Niño, at 4 AM on January 24, 2020.


4:00 AM – Misa Solemne sa “HUBO”
Venue: Santo Niño Pilgrim Center

6:00 AM – Holy Mass
7:00 AM – Holy Mass
8:00 AM – Holy Mass
9:00 AM – Holy Mass
10:00 AM – Holy Mass
11:00 AM – Holy Mass
12:00 NN – Holy Mass
1:00 PM – Holy Mass
2:00 PM – Holy Mass
3:00 PM – Holy Mass
4:00 PM – Holy Mass
5:00 PM – Holy Mass
6:00 PM – Holy Mass
7:00 PM – Holy Mass

The traditional “Hubo” ended with people dancing the traditional Sinulog dance to the beat of drums.

ALSO READ: SINULOG 2020 Grand Parade Winners

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About the Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, to honor and celebrate the adoration of the Holy Child Jesus or Santo Niño. It is the center of the Santo Niño Catholic celebrations in the Philippines.

Other places like Maasin City, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and Southern Leyte also have their own version of the festival in honor of the Santo Niño.

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