Shariff Kabunsuan Festival (December 15-19)
Celebrated in honor of Shariff Mohammad Kabunsuan, an Arab missionary from Johore who planted the seed of Islam in Central Mindanao. With his arrival came the Sultanate form of government and Royal houses, the Madrasah system of education, trade, commerce, to name a few. On this event, dances, traditional games and sports are the regular activities. Highlights include a Dance Parade, Banca Race and the re-enactment of his arrival.
Our Lady of Peñafrancia Fiesta (3rd Sunday of September)
Celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, it is preceded with a Holy mass and procession from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral to a waiting landing craft (barge) decked with colorful buntings, banana trunks, flowers and a brass band for its traditional fluvial procession at the Rio Grande to watch or join the procession in fulfillment of a vow, hosted by the Bicolano Association of Cotabato City. This annual event is a replica of the same event in Naga City.
Araw ng Kutabato (June 12-25)
It is the biggest celebration in all of the city’s festivals. It commemorates the city’s charter anniversary. Officially commencing on Independence Day (June 12), the two weeks of merry making is dotted with events like agri-aqua product showcase, exhibits of photographs and artworks, sports and traditional games and other modern day athletics. Capping the celebration is the selection of the city’s fairest maiden in the Search for the Mutya ng Kutabato and the mammoth civic/military and cultural dance parade dubbed as the Lilang-lilang Festival”.
Immaculate Conception Fiesta (December 8)
The patroness of Cotabato City, the feast of the Immaculate Conception is held from the first day of December and it is marked by a trade fair, musical presentations, cultural presentations, drums and bugle corps contest and the nightly novena mass in honor of the patroness.