The Chinese community throughout the world will be welcoming the new lunar year at the strike of midnight on February 15, 2018. February 16 marks the first day of the Year of the Dog. It will highlight the foo dog which is a symbol of loyalty and protection.

In Bacolod City, Philippines, the Chinese New Year is celebrated thru a festival called Bacolaodiat. It is coined from the words Bacolod and lao diat. The later means celebration in Fookien.

Bacolaodiat 2018 runs from February 15 – 18, 2018. On February 15, there will be rituals at the Yuan Thong Temple. The venue for the activities from February 15 – 17 will be at the South Capitol Road and the Lacson Tourism Strip. There will also be events on February 17 and 18 at the Bacolod City Government Center.

Lighted Chinese Zodiac characters wind-chasers at the fountain area of the Bacolod City Government Center. Photo by The Visayan Daily Star.

The Bacolaodiat is marked with colorful giant lanterns. The four days celebration will kick-off with a Grand Parade participated by the Tsinoy community in their traditional Chinese costumes, government officials and students of the different Chinese schools in the city. The main attraction of the parade will be the illuminated floats of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs.

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There will be cultural shows performed by the students of the Chinese schools in Bacolod, lantern making contest and the lantern street dance competition. There will also be corporate nights by the festival sponsors.

The Bacolaodiat Imperial Village will feature Chinese arts and crafts like calligraphy, wishing tree, palm reading among others.

The Chopsticks Alley will have Chinese food stalls and cooking demonstrations.

Every night there will be fireworks display accompanied by the official Bacolaodiat music, the Symphony of Lights and Sparks.

Schedule of Activities as published by the Bacolaodiat committee.

The main aim of the Bacolaodiat Festival is to strengthen the relationship between the Filipino – Chinese communities. It is likewise to drive away bad luck and to let prosperity in.

Featured Year of the Dog photo is from