In Peru, daily life is marked by a series of festivals held throughout the year, even in the remotest villages of the country, where beliefs in saints are celebrated with great fanfare. Some of the most important holidays that you may attend to the agenda:
• La Virgen de la Candelaria (Thevirginofthe Candelaria)
• Q'eswachaca Bridge
• Corpus Christi
• The Virgin of Carmen
• The National Day (Independence Day)
• The Virgin of the Assumption
• The Lord of Huanca pilgrimage
February 2: Our Lady of Candelaria (Virgen de la Candelaria)
He was named after his vision of a Jesuit priest of the Virgin Mary fighting a demon. This festival lasts for two weeks; the main day is Feb. 2. Considered a carnival, is characterized by its many parades and dance competitions. On 10 and 11 February are also important as these two days at the stadium and on the streets of Puno there are dance competitions between neighborhoods of the city. The wildest costumes and colorful light up the capital of Altiplano that lives only for the festival until 15 February.
From 24 to 31 March 2013: Easter
It's the last week of Lent. The actual festivities begin on Thursday after Palm Sunday and lasts until Easter Sunday. The processions are held throughout the country, with major figures as religious icons of the Virgin Mary. The most impressive and famous processions are held in the cities of Ayacucho, Cusco and Huaraz. These festivals are associated with ancient beliefs of the old Catholic traditions imported from Europe.
On 6, 7, 8 and 9 June 2013: Q'eswachaca Bridge
At this time of year, Huinchiri communities, Chaupibanda, Ccollana Quehue and Pelcaro meet to restore the last Inca bridge of Peru. In fact, this bridge is made entirely of strings of plaited grass and requires annual restoration. This is an opportunity for 4 days to celebrate this event. An unforgettable experience with us!
From 26 to 28 May 2013: Q'oyllur Riti
This is one of the biggest indigenous celebrations in Latin America, which meets every year to more than eighty thousand pilgrims. "Ccoyllor Ritti" is a Quechua word meaning 'Snow Star', this Andean belief that has been transformed and adapted to Catholicism, was replaced at Qoylloriti Taytacha (Lord of snow).
The people of the area Ocongate (located 2h30 from Cusco), performed an annual rite, whose symbol is the icon of Christ, that is, the integration of man and nature. This festival is not only associated with the fertility of the land, but also with the spirits of animals and mountains (apus) and other tutelary deities. The main ritual takes place at the foot of the mountain Sinakara where they meet long processions of pilgrims from across the region.
On 29 and 30 May 2013: Corpus Christi
Before the arrival of Catholicism in Peru, had a party to celebrate the 14 native kings and emperors Incas in Cusco, capital of the empire. People moved to the mummies of their dead kings in procession through the city. Shocked by this practice, the Spanish replaced the mummies of 14 elegantly dressed Catholic icons. So, every year since the beginning of the colonial age, all parishes of Cusco and surrounding its patron saint carried in procession to the cathedral to be blessed.
June 24, 2013: Inti Raymi
This festival is a recreation of the Fiesta del Sol that ruled the Inca Empire and celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, indicating the end of the agricultural year and the beginning of another. They worshiped the sun and in its honor gave many animal sacrifices and offerings to ensure their return and therefore the summer. Many dances and customs Incas are reconstructed through a great show with thousands of actors throughout the day. The action takes place in the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, adding a historical and mystique dimension.
July 16: Our Lady of Mount Carmel
This festival is directly inherited from the Spanish Catholic tradition. Refers to an apparition of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, Israel. One of the places of worship of the Virgen del Carmen is in Paucartambo, Peru. The parades of dancers in colorful costumes take place in the region of Cusco that day; the Virgin blesses the participants and takes the demons away.
July 28: The National Day(Independence Day)
It commemorates the declaration of independence of Peru by José de San Martín place since July 28, 1821 in Lima. On this occasion, the student and military parades are held across the country.
August 15: Our Lady Assumption (Assumption)
As in all Catholic countries, the Assumption is a major holiday. On August 15, the main cities are the scene of processions and festivities.
September 14: the pilgrimage to the Lord of Huanca
This pilgrimage is an annual event held in memory of the Incas in the mines exploited by the Spanish during the colonial era. The Lord of Huanca became the icon of the working poor and abused. On September 14, the people of Cusco will walk Huanca, a village near Pisaq, where is located the shrine of the Lord of Huanca.