PERUVIAN  MOTS  IMPORTANT  FESTIVITIES

 

Around 3,000 folk festivals are carried out in Peru every year. Most of them are dedicated to a patron saint within the Christian calendar imposed during the Spanish Vice-regency. The celebrations go hand-in-hand with a busy program of activities that include mass, processions, pilgrimages, dancing, folk dances, arts and crafts shows, agricultural fairs and other shows that blend spirituality and vitality. Below we have tried to make a selection of the most meaningful festivals in Peru, chosen for their tourist popularity, geographic reach and unique character. Let us know about your interests and we will design a tailor made program, that suit your expectations.

 

FESTIVAL OF THE MARINERA - JANUARY 20 Trujillo [La Libertad]

 

The marinera is one of the most elegant dances in Peru. The dance involves a great deal of flirting between a couple, who each twitch a handkerchief in their right hand while keeping the beat during what is fairly complex coreography.

 

Trujillo holds the country´s most important marinera competition, that draws couples from all over the country.

 

During the festival, the city also hosts processions involving floats and the whole town takes on a festive air.

 

The people of Trujillo gather at the main square to dance and celebrate.

 

VIRGEN OF THE CANDELARIA - FEBRUARY 1-14 Puno

 

 Dancers fill the streets of Puno, nestled on the shores of Lake Titikaka, for several days in February.

 

They perform old dances in colorful costumes. For 18 days the highland city becomes the Folk Capital of the Americas.

 

The festival gathers more than 200 groups of musicians and dancers to celebrate the Mamapacha Candelaria.

 

The virgin is led through the city in a colorful procession. The dance of the demons or diablada is the main dance of the festival.

 

LORD OF THE EARTHQUAKES - SECOND HALF OF MARCH - 1st week of April CUSCO

 

Ever since 1650, when the faithful claim that an oil painting of Christ on the Cross held off a devasting earthquake that was rattling the city of Cusco, the locals have been honoring the image of Taitacha Temblores, the Lord of the Earthquakes.

 

The image used today was donated by King Charles V and despite centuries of smoke from candles and incense, no one has dared to restore the blackened painting, that given the Christ a somber aspect and a dark countenance.

 

The Lord of the Earthquakes is taken out in procession through the streets of the city just as the Incas used to parade the mummies of their high priests and high rulers. This celebration is of particular interest because it allows onlookers to get a glimpse of the fusion of Andean religions and Christianity.

 

 

FESTIVAL OF THE PERUVIAN HORSE -Third week in April - Lima

 

The Spanish horse, bred with the Arab stallion and reared in a desert environment, which formed ist gait, gave rise to the Peruvian Paso horse. Over 450 years of selective breeding have gone into developing the characteristics that have made the Peruvian Paso Horse one of the world´s most beautiful and elegant breeds. With its four-beat lateral gait, the Peruvian horse gives its rider the smoothest ride in the world.

 

The most important contest takes place in Mamacona, a tourist resort at a walking distance from the Pachacamac ruins (30 km south of Lima). There is also a wonderful exhibition of these horses.

 

PILGRIMAGE TO THE SNOW PEAKS OF QOYLLORITY - First week in June - Cusco - Quispicanchi

 

Qoyllur Rit'i means star of the snows. It's a festival that combines masses in a Catholic church with a solemn moonlit trek up to a dangerous glacier, to pay homage to the Apus, the mountain gods of the Incas. Many are asking him for earthly blessings, houses, jobs, cure of an illness. Many want redress in some personal grievance; Christ is a god of Justice in the Andean version of Christianity. The main ceremony is held at the foot of Mount Ausangate, at 4,600 meters (15,090 ft), lands with holy water from the Ausangate.

 

where temperatures often plunge below freezing. The ritual bring thousands of pilgrims It takes place on the moveable feast of Trinity Sunday, through the following Tuesday, usually in late May or early June. More than 10,000 pilgrims climb to the snowline, accompanied by all sorts of dancers in full costume.

The ukukus or bears, dress in wool masks and shaggy tunics, are the guardians of the Lord and the Apu mountain spirits, they maintain order during religious ceremonies. On their way back down to their communities, pilgrims haul massive blocks of ice on their backs for the simbolic irrigation of their

 

Festival of the sun – The INTIRAYMI -JUNE 24 - Cusco b

 

Every year on the 24th of June Cusco celebrates the festival of Inti Raymi, the winter solstice, in the southern hemisphere. Inti Raymi was the most majestic and greatest festival of the Inca empire to honor the sun god. Today, the Inti Raymi evokes the splendid Inca ritual of yore, being carefully scripted by Cusco professors, archaeologists and historians. For more than half a century the festival takes place at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman (2 km outside Cusco). There, step by step, thousands of actors proudly bring the past alive, giving thanks to sun god. The Inti Raymi starts in the square in front of the Qorikancha,also known as the Santo Domingo.

 

The Sapa Inca honors, with an eloquently strong voice, the blessings of the Sun and this most sacred day. After this initiation the procession moves with imperial dignity to the Sacsayhuaman. At the top the Inca is carried on a royal litter. At the fortress the high priest performed the llama sacrifice offering a black and white llama. With a sharp ceremonial golden knife called " Tumi" he had to open the animal's chest. With his hands pulled out its throbbing heart, lungs and viscera, so that observing those elements he could predict the future. Later, the animal and its parts were completely incinerated. After the sacrifice, the High Priest had to produce the "Sacred Fire". Staying in front of the Sun he had to get its rays in a concave gold medallion that contained some soft or oily material in order to produce the fire that had to be kept during next year in the Qorikancha and Aqllawasi. Once that all ritual stages of the Inti Raymi were finished, all the attendants were located in the southwestern Plaza's sector named "Kusipata" (Plaza del Regocijo) where after being nourished, people were entertained with music, dances and abundant chicha.

 

THE CORPUS CHRISTI PROCESSION – JUNE - Cusco

 

The festival of Corpus Christi has been celebrated all over Peru since colonial times, but reaches a high point in Cusco. Fifteen saints and virgins from various districts are borne in a procession to the Cathedral where they "greet" the body of Christ embodied in the Sacred Host, kept in a fabulous gold goblet weighing 26 kilos and standing 1.2 meters high. All the figures are dress with elegant clothes, as well as gold and silver jewellery and are always accompanied by music bands, dancers and fireworks.

 

The Corpus Christi is held between May and June, 60 days after Easter. In the main square people raise very big altars adorned with mirrors, flags, flowers, tree branches, some images, etc.

 

In ancient times those altars were more numerous and showy, adorned with silver frontals, Cusquenian school paintings, statues, etc. Near the main square many merchants place their typical food stands for attendants to the "entrance", where the traditional "Chiri Uchu" or "Cold Chili" is served; some other stands also serve pork "chicharrones", "anticuchos" (skewered cow-heart), etc.; and of course, industrial amounts of beer and chicha. After the entrance of images into the Cathedral, people will eat and drink at the main square.

 

THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF PERU - JULY 28-29 - Peru

 

On July 28 and 29 all Peru celebrates the independence of its country. On the night of July 27, Peruvians often stage serenatas to the strains of folk and Creole music in plazas (main squares) and public parks.

 

On the following day, before the famous military parade is held in downtown Lima, the Te Deum ceremony attended by the president, is celebrated in the Lima Cathedral.

 

The Feria del Hogar, the biggest commercial fair and the Feria de La Molina, a well-known international music festival, open during these days.

 

Famous national and foreign artists are invited to participate. In various parts of the country, Peruvian also hold agricultural and livestock fairs. (Cajamarca, Piura, Monsefu)

 

LORD OF THE MIRACLES PROCESIÓN (SEÑOR DE LOS MILAGROS) - OCTOBER 18-28 - Lima

 

On October 18, 19 and 28, one the most multitudinary processions worldwide takes place. The procession dates back to colonial times, when a slave drew the image of a black Christ on the walls of a wretched hut in the plantation of Pachacamilla, near Lima. The famous image has remained intact in spite of time, earthquakes and other cataclysms. As a result worship of the image rose to new heights, until it became the largest procession in South America.

 

During the whole month the litter is taken in a trailer to distant places throughout the city followed by ten of thousands pilgrims dress in purple tunics. Around this time of year, the streets fill with vendors of a wide variety of typical dishes a sweets, such as the famous Turron de Doña Pepa.

In October to commemorate the Lord of Miracles (Señor de los Milagros) Lima hosts the well-known bullfight season in which the best toreros in the world participate. It takes place in the centuries-old Plaza de Acho bullring.

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