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Carabao Festival - May 14
Angono, Rizal Province

Carabaos are highly associated with farmers, being the farm animal of choice for pulling the plow and the cart used to haul farm produce to the market. The people of Pulilan in Bulacan Province, San Isidro in Nueva Ecija Province, and Angono in Rizal Province celebrate for two days the festival of CARABAO.

The Carabao (kalabaw in Tagalog) is a domesticated type of water buffalo. Carabaos are highly associated with farmers, Carabao is considered as a national symbol of the Philippines.

The Carabao Festival is celebrated on 14 and 15 May in honor of San Isidro, the farmer's patron saint.

During the Carabao festival, on the afternoon of 14 May, decorated water buffaloes are led by farmers in a long procession to the church square whereby they kneel and receive their blessings.

On 15 May, which is the next day, the water buffalo races will take place.

On the day of the Carabao Festival, farmers pay tribute to Water buffalos, known as carabaos. These animals are very important for farmers because they help till the land. Farmers brush their carabaos' skin until it is sleek and shiny. Then the carabaos are decorated with ribbons and attached to carts.

In the afternoon, farmers lead their carabaos to the church square to be part of the procession. At the church, the carabaos kneel for their blessings.

Then the farmers pay tribute to their patron saints. A procession of carabao carts bearing a myriad local produce is held at carabao festival; prizes are awarded to the strongest and most beautifully decorated carabaos.

The Carabao Festival often features a colorful parade of about 20 decorated bamboo sleds and a race among carroza-pulling carabaos on a 400 meter course.

Source: Festivals of the World: Philippines

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