Jaro’s celebration of the Feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles) every February 2 is well known in the Philippines. The fiesta features pageantry with a fiesta queen from one of the prominent families of the place, and a cockfight at the Iloilo Coliseum, where cockfighting aficionados from all over the Philippines converge.
The district is notable for its large amount of nineteenth-century architecture.
Straddling the main plaza is the antique Jaro Cathedral and the Palasyo, the Archbishop’s residence.
Majority of the mestizo families from Iloilo came from this town, because it was a center and main port during Spanish period and many Spanish traders married natives and settled on the island.
Our Lady of the Candles also formally known as Nuestra Señora de la Purificacion y Candelaria, also known as Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is a Marian title depicted by a 16th-century Roman Catholic wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated by Filipino Roman Catholics in the Western Visayas region. The statue is prominently known for carrying a candle and is locally known as the patroness of Jaro, Iloilo. It is enshrined in the Jaro Cathedral, recently named the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles, atop the balcony-facade of the church which is accessible by balcony stairs outside the church.
Mary under this title is commemorated in the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. In this regard, Mary is claimed to have participated in a rite of purification in according to the ancient Candlemas festival rooted in Halakha (Jewish law).
The statue has merited Papal sanction from Pope John Paul II, who imposed a canonical crown to the statue during his Apostolic visit in February 21, 1981.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles celebrates its Marian feast every February 2 with a grand procession, Latin Tridentine Masses, and numerous parades.