Filipino Community in Switzerland Celebrates Feast of Sto. Niño
21 January 2014 – Filipinos across Switzerland celebrated the Feast Day of Sto. Niño over the weekend. Two big celebrations were held in Basel and Lausanne, respectively, for the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. The two events were coordinated by the Philippine Catholic Mission in Switzerland and were attended by officials from the Philippine Embassy in Berne and the Philippine Mission/Consulate General in Geneva.
In Basel, over 600 Filipinos from the German-speaking regions including Aargau, Berne, Zürich, Winterthur, and St. Gallen participated in the event.
The celebration in Lausanne was attended by around 500 people from the Swiss Romande region of Switzerland including Geneva, Vaud, and Fribourg.
As part of tradition, the event started off with the celebration of the Holy Mass. Images of the Sto. Niño were paraded in a procession signalling the start of the Holy Mass in Lausanne. In Basel, the Sinulog was replicated with a parade of various sizes of the image of the Sto. Niño clothed in bright, glittering colours.
In his message, Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie Baja reminded the gathering of the humility of the Sto. Niño and urged everyone to follow the Infant Jesus’ example.
“In the Philippines, the feast of the Sto. Niño signals the end of Christmas season. Rightly so, as Christmas welcomes the birth of Jesus and the Feast of the Sto Niño celebrates the Infant Jesus. We in the Philippines, love children, and this is reflected in our devotion to the Sto. Niño,” added Ambassador Baja.
The Ambassador also expressed his gratitude to the Filipinos for their assistance to the typhoon victims and urged them to maintain unity as a nation and as a people.
The Feast of the Sto. Niño has become an annual tradition by the Filipino Catholic community in Switzerland where a sizeable number of Filipino migrants come from the Visayan region. The annual celebration is usually held among the various cantons where a big number of Filipinos reside. END