Pahiyas Festival: Get to Know the Philippines’ Most Colorful Harvest Festival

pahiyas festival beautiful decor

Every famous festival in the Philippines is always colorful, and Pahiyas Festival, without a doubt, is one of the most colorful and vibrant festivals in the Philippines. Like most of the Philippine festivals, Pahiyas is held to give thanks for their bountiful harvest.

Get to know Pahiyas even more with the help of this complete guide that would come in handy for you when you visit Lucban.

*Cover photo by Weirdobelle via Flickr

What’s inside this blog?

About Pahiyas Festival

pahiyas festival decorations

Photo credits to Anton Diaz via Flickr

This Lucban Festival is an annual celebration to pay homage to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador, for a bountiful harvest in town. Houses are decorated with Lucban’s best agricultural products, such as vegetables, fruits, Lucban longganisa and colorful Kipings, a traditional Filipino leaf-shaped wafer made from glutinous rice.

Must-read: Festivals In The Philippines: 15 Most Exciting Filipino Fiestas


Pahiyas Festival Place of Origin

The place of origin of Pahiyas Festival is the town of Lucban in the province of Quezon. 


Pahiyas Festival Date

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The Pahiyas Festival date of celebration is every May 15.


Pahiyas Festival Description

The word pahiyas comes from “payas” which means to decorate or decorate. The Pahiyas Festival meaning can easily be noticed once you see the beautiful house decorations in Lucban, Quezon.


Pahiyas Festival History

pahiyas festival couple

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Pahiyas Festival History traces its roots back to the 16th century when it all started. During that time, it was not like the festival we know today. The farmers would bring their harvests at the foot of Mt. Banahaw where they offer the goods. They gathered and held simple celebrations to give thanks to the Anitos for bountiful harvests. But when the first church was built, the farmers just brought their harvests there to be blessed by the priest. When they did that, they experienced another bountiful harvest the following year. So, they made it a tradition to bring their harvests to the church for the Lord’s blessings. However, the time came that the church could no longer accommodate the overflowing goods. Because of that, it was agreed upon that the farmers would display their harvests at their doorsteps, then a priest would just roam around to bless each house.

In May 1963, the Lucban Festival became the colorful harvest festival we know today, with people dressed in awesome Pahiyas Festival costumes while parading and performing a Pahiyas Festival dance on the streets. The Pahiyas Festival month celebration also includes cultural shows, trade fairs, art exhibits, and various contests to boost the tourism industry. And it did. More and more locals from neighboring provinces and even those from other countries are traveling to Lucban to experience and take lots of Pahiyas Festival pictures.


Schedule of Activities

Since there is still a pandemic, the Pahiyas Festival 2021 was not celebrated like it used to be. Stay tuned here for updates. In the meantime, here are the main highlights of the Pahiyas Festival tagalog.

  • The Pahiyas Festival dance
  • Trade fairs
  • Early Morning Procession in honor of San Isidro Labrador
  • Free food for everyone and the colorful houses decorated with Kiping

How to Get to Lucban, Quezon

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pahiyas festival vegetable decorations

Photo credits to Anton Diaz via Flickr

From Manila or Quezon City, ride a bus going to Lucena and alight at the Lucena Grand Terminal. Upon arrival, you can take a jeepney, van, or a bus bound for Lucban. The travel time is around 3 to 4 hours.


Frequently Asked Questions About Pahiyas Festival

Q: What is being celebrated in the Pahiyas festival?
A: The Pahiyas Festival is celebrated to give thanks to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador for their bountiful harvest. During this occasion every May 15, the houses transform into colorful abodes using their harvests and the popular kipings. The Pahiyas Festival meaning is really to give thanks.

Q: What is the Pahiyas Festival date?
A: The Pahiyas Festival date of celebration is May 15.

Q: Where is the Pahiyas Festival place of origin?
A: The Pahiyas Festival place of origin is Lucban, Quezon.

Q: What makes the Pahiyas festival unique?
A: This festival is unique because the whole town is participating in order for them to preserve the tradition that started in the 15th century. What’s more is that they use their harvests to decorate their houses.

Q: What are the usual Pahiyas Festival decorations?
A: The Pahiyas Festival decorations usually consist of Lucban’s fresh produce such as vegetables, fruits, the popular Lucban longganisa, and of course, the kipings (a rice wafer) that make the houses so colorful.

Q: Who is the patron saint of Pahiyas Festival?
A: The patron saint of Pahiyas Festival is San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the farmers and laborers.

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