Parada ng Lechon – Roasted Pigs Parade!
The Parada ng lechon is a parade conducted at annual festival in Balayan, Philippines. The Filipinos celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist on June 24 every year, with a parade of roasted pigs or Lechon that are dressed up. At the Parada Ng lechons (parade of the pigs), the roasted pigs are dressed up with sunglasses, bridal attire and even wigs! Clearly the Filipinos have given a whole new meaning to dressing roasted pigs!
On the eve of the festival an anniversary ball is held at the town plaza where the Lechon Queen is crowned. On the morn of the festival while a mass is being held at the church, rows of pigs are roasted on metal rods until they turn a beautiful golden. The preparation of lechons and the ensuing parade ng lechon has become an enjoyable tradition for this town.
The merry making and parade starts with the onset of the drumbeats after the service at the church. If you are planning to visit Balayan during the festival, then you should be prepared for an amusing set of scenes. You might see bonnet clad lechons on bikes leading a newly married lechon pair or other well dressed lechons posing on pick up trucks.
For some the Parada ng lechon maybe a source of disgust but in this town this is a common sight. Supposedly, as legend goes, the Filipinos served lechons to a group of Spaniards who came to their village and ever since then lechons have become an important part of their festivals. They usually prefer to roast suckling pigs.
Once the lechons have finished parading the city on the shoulder of devotees, they are taken back to the respective homes or distributed amongst the audience and eaten. The festivities doesn’t end with ensuing feating and drinking. After the feast the whole town gets involved in massive water fights where they pours basins full of water or even beer on everyone they come across. So if you are in Balayan, then keep a waterproof jacket in handy or just join the fun. I would definitely join, at least to get a bite of the delicious lechon if not for getting drenched!:-)
The lechons are a common sight for many other festivals in Phillipines. A Parada Ng Lechon was conducted just yesterday in the La Loma district of Manila as a part of an annual festival. Swine flu doesn’t seem to have deterred the Filipinos who are now looking forward to June 24th for the nest Parada ng Lechon. So if you want to have a humorous roasted pig for lunch, you know where to head to!