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»Traditional Festivities

January

Marinera Festival
The Mansiche Arena in Trujillo is the stage for the National Marinera Contest, the most elegant by couples dance in Peru. Different categories and choreographic styles are judged. Both dancers swirl while waving a white kerchief and executing a number of characteristic steps. The made dancer wears a poncho and a hat, and if riding horse back, he does so on a Peruvian Paso horse. His lady wears a beautiful typical regional dress.


Lima

Anniversary of the founding of Lima / 18th January
Plenty of civic-cultural activities take place such as parades, singing, and fireworks. 


February

Virgen de la Candelaria
On the central day, the Virgin parades the city in a colorful procession, followed by more than 200 bands of musicians and a similar number of groups who dance around the city and compete for prizes in the local stadium. The festivity is related to the pre-Hispanic farming cycles of planting and harvesting (worshipping Pachamama or Mother Earth), as well as with the region’s mining activity.

Carnivals
Peruvian carnivals are marked by the festive character of Andean areas, which regularly break with their solemn traditions.
Beyond regional variations, a common characteristic of nearly the entire highland chain is the ritual of the yunza, called umisha in the jungle and cortamonte on the coast. It involves artificially planting a tree trunk laden with gifts, around which the guests dance until it is chopped with a machete or an ax. The couple who make the final hack that brings down the tree will then both be in charge of organizing the yunza next year. Peruvians across the country are extremely fond of tossing buckets of water at each other during this festival, so onlookers would be wise to take precautions. Cities where carnivals reach a high point include Cajamarca, Puno and Ayacucho.


March

Wine Festival
This festival is a celebration of the abundance of grapes and wine in the region of Ica (a four-hour drive south of Lima), where persevering efforts in local vineyards have spread greenery across vast tracts of once bone-dry desert.
 
The Wine Festival (Festival de la Vendimia) involves fairs, competitions, processions of floats, musical festivals and parties where guests dance the Afro-Peruvian festejo.
 
One of the major attractions of the event is the Queen of the Wine Festival beauty pageant. Accompanied by her hand-maidens, the beauty queen treads grapes in a vat in the time-honored tradition to extract the juice that will eventually be fermented. Apart from the delicious local sweets known as tejas, made from pecans or candied fruits, filled with caramel and covered with sugar icing, those attending the event can try pisco, the aromatic and tasty grape brandy that originated in this part of southern Peru four centuries ago.


April

Peruvian Paso Horse Festival
The contest takes place in Mamacona, at the foot of the pre-Inca Pachacamac oracle. The Peruvian Paso horse is a breed of Spanish and Berber races that took 300 years. Its gait is a series of synchronized movements of the front and rear legs in parallel fashion, a trait that has made it one of the most beautiful and elegant horses in the world.


The Holy Week
Unlike the commemorations of Easter in other regions of the country, in Cusco Holy Monday is the day that acquires greater meaning and where faith is most apparent with deep devotion, because that day the Lord of Tremors (earthquakes), considered to be the sworn patron Saint of the city, leaves the church in a full procession around the town.

The Sunday of Branches is the traditional blessing of Branches at nine in the morning, followed by a procession and Eucharistic service in the Cathedral basilica.

On Holy Monday, a solemn mass of Holy Communion is held by the Archbishop in the Cathedral Basilica. From 8am masses are celebrated hourly until midday, in honour of the Lord of Tremors. At 7pm more than one hundred thousand people who hours before congregated in the main square wait with faith for the blessing of the dark-skinned Christ, that will take place amidst the wailing of sirens and deep retreat.

On Holy Friday at 4am the ‘Route of the Cross’ is followed from the San Francisco Square to the Cross of the Pope in Saqsaywaman, organized by the Convent of San Francisco. Meanwhile, from 6am onwards in San Francisco Square, part of the Cusqueñan Easter tradition is to hold a peculiar fair of contemporary medicinal plants, known as the HAMPY RANTIKUY fair. Farmers arrive from distant places to sell a great diversity of species of medicinal plants and native flora of the region, which have proven healing virtues. Most predominant is the purchase of naturally grown thorn crosses, moored to another cross made of ñihua leaves, and adorned with garlic braids, wild flowers, dried roses, and phallchas (mulberry flourmills). These crosses are traditionally placed behind the doors of the houses, to protect homes of all evil or curse. Also in this fair all the necessary products for the preparation of the so-called “twelve dishes” are sold.


may - Jun

Corpus Christi
Fifteen saints and virgins from different Cusco districts arrive at the cathedral in procession to salute Christ’s body in the form of a consecrated wafer kept in the fabulous 26-kg massif gold custody. During the night wake, typical dishes, such as chiriuchu (guinea pig and hot peppers), chicha and corn bread, are served. As soon as the sun rises, the parade starts around the main square, and then the images enter the cathedral to salute each other. Finally, the delegations go back to their churches in the midst of songs and prayers.
The inca Garcilaso de la Vega tells that the first celebration of the Corpus Christi in Cusco was in 1550,


Qoyllur Rit'i
Jun First Week
The largest pilgrimage of all indigenous nations of the Americas. More than 10 thousand people arrive in Sinakara, at the foot of the Ausangate mountain (6362 masl / 20873 fasl), to pay homage to a painting of Child Jesus. The ascent of a group of strong Queros to the snow-capped summit to seek the Star of the Snow (Qoyllur Rit’i) in the mountain’s heart is full of symbolism. They will take large blocks of ice on their shoulders back to their Quechua communities to water their lands with sacred water.


Inti Raymi
Jun 24th

Inti Raymi is the Sun’s festivity. It coincides with the winter solstice and the harvests season. The Sacsayhuaman fortress is the stage for the ceremony, following a detailed script, including the sacrifice of two llamas to tell the future. The Inca, who urges the authorities in Cusco’s main square to govern well, presides over the ceremony. At dusk, the Inca announces the end of the day’s ceremonies and merry-making starts.


Saint John
Jun

The most important festivity of the Amazon symbolizes the renewal of faith under the figure of Saint John the Baptist and the power of water, a vital element in the entire Amazon region. This is why, in Iquitos and Pucallpa (Yarinacocha), the people get purified in the waters of rivers or lakes. On this date, there are also music festivals and typical dances, produce and crafts fairs, and typical dishes, such as the famous juanes (rice tamales) representing the Saint’s head.


Chaccu in Pampa Galeras / June 24th

Barbara D’Achille National Reserve at Pampa Galeras. Ayacucho

This traditional festival consists of creating a human fence to surround and trap the vicuñas that will be sheered. Before the chaccu, the local people perform the pagapu, an ancient ceremony of giving thanks to the Pachamama or Mother Earth and the Andean gods for protecting their animals. Vicuña fur is extremely sought after for its high quality and value in the international market.


July

The Virgin of Carmen
Jul 15-16

The Virgin of El Carmen or Mamacha Carmen, patroness of mixed-blood people, is worshipped in a colorful procession of her image along the village streets. Music and singing in Quechua, and groups representing passages of the history of Peru. On the central day, the Virgin blesses the attendants and casts off demons that perform risky acrobacies on roof tops. The grand finale, is a war against demons in which the faithful triumph.


Independece Day
Location: All over Peru
Date: July 28-29

 
Across the country, Peruvians throw parties and hold patriotic celebrations to remember the Declaration of Peru's Independence (July 28, 1,821) by the Libertador José de San Martín. In Lima and cities across Peru, even in remote communities, homes fly the Peruvian flag from the start of July.
 
On the night of July 27, Peruvians often stage serenatas to the strains of folk and Creole music in plazas and public parks. Dawn on July 28 is greeted with a salvo of 21 cannons, to herald the ceremony of raising the flag. 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.
 
In various parts of the country, Peruvians also hold agricultural and livestock fairs (Cajamarca, Piura, Monsefú) together with three festivals that are the soul of Creole culture: cockfighting, bullfighting and Peruvian paso horse exhibitions.


August

Pachamama Raymi or Earth Mother Day / 1st August

The entire department. Cusco
On this day, the following festivals takes place: Pachamamaraymi in the District of Ccatca, Wataqallariy in the District of Maras, and Kinturaymi in Huasao in the District of Oropesa. This is an Andean ritual that worships and gives tribute to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) in a special ceremony called “payment to the earth” with offerings of coca leaves, chicha de jora, and huayruro seeds (mystical jungle seeds). The rite marks the beginning of the Andean New Year.

The Offering to the Earth
Particularly in the Andean world, pre-Colombian religious fervor has survived until today in age-old rites that link Man to Nature, where the earth enjoys huge symbolic importance. The Pachamama or Earth goddess, dwells in the Urkhupacha, the Underworld, and provides her fruits to feed Man. Thus, within the reciprocal nature of the Andes, in August villagers make offerings called pagapus. These offerings can include coca leaves, unwrought silver, chicha, wine and jungle seeds called huayruro believed to have magical powers. These offerings are made to the apu, the spirits of their ancestors who dwell within the mountains. The coca leaf, a sacred plant which serves to mediate between the inner world (the Apu and the Pachamama) and the outer world (that of Man) is found in countless mestizo religious celebrations in communities in the country's interior and even urban centers. Spread over a blanket on the ground, coca leaves are then "read" to predict the future.

Anniversary of the city of Arequipa / August

Province of Arequipa, District of Arequipa. Arequipa

For this celebration, the city organizes the International Fair of Arequipa located on MountJuli, artisanal exhibitions in the Fundo El Fierro, the Festidanza dance festival, and the international Climb Mount Misti contest. The main day, 15th August , is when the Friendship Parade takes place.


Saint Rose of Lima
August 31

Saint Rose of Lima is the name that made Isabel Flores de Oliva famous. She was a pious Lima woman of the XVII century with great religious inclination and given to serving the sick. The Vatican named her Patroness of the Americas and the Philippines.
Her sanctuary in downtown Lima is visited by the faithful asking for a miracle. On this date, visitors to the hermitage she built is visited and drop letters into the well where she dropped the key to her cilice.


September

Mistura
This year the magic of Mistura take 11 days, ranging between 8 and 18 September, Season dedicated to the worship of the Peruvian Gastronomy. Mistura the Power of the Food.

Inthe World,there are many fairs ... all kinds but if you want to live, feel, laugh, dance.. cry, eat, sing,kiss, love and never forget, That is Mistura ...Gaton Acurio


International spring Festival.
Colonial Trujillo streets and houses are decorated for the floats parade led by the Queen of Spring, followed by foreign and Peruvian beauty queens. Skillful cheerleaders from abroad also catch the bystanders attention


Peruvian Pace Horse National Contest / September 29th.

Province of Trujillo, District of Trujillo La Libertad
It is organized by the Peruvian Paso Horse Breeders and Owners Association of Trujillo in the framework of the International Spring Festival. The horses dance the Marinera guided through slight movements of the reins by the experienced chalanes (riders).


Ocotber

The Lord of Miracles
This image gathers around it the largest numberts of devotees in South America. It dates back to colonial times, when a black slave painted it on the walls of a run-down property. In spite of earthquakes and attempts at erasing it, the miraculous image has remained intact. Thousands of believers dressed in purple habits sing and pray to accompany the image in procession. It is a date to enjoy “turrón de Doña Pepa” (a nougat) and delicious “picarones” (ring-shaped fritters). To honor the Black Christ, bull fighting at Plaza de Acho, gathers the most prestigious bullfighters of Spain and the Americas.


December

The Santurantikuy, Cusco's popular art fair
In Cusco, the world-wide celebration of Christmas acquires a special form, because around it there are various unique activities. The city lives a festive atmosphere with the decoration of the balconies of the Historical Centre, with lights, garlands and ribbons. From the first days of the month of December the Municipality places beautiful luminous decorations around town that cheer-up the city-nights. On December 24th the greatest popular and typical art fair of Peru is held in the main square: the fair of the Santuranticuy, where hundreds of original craftsmen of different areas of Cusco and other regions of the country expose beautiful and original work that is the fruit of their creative spirit throughout the year and which will adorn the nativity scenes in homes and institutions. The Manuelito child is the central character of the celebration of Christmas in Cusco.



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