Inca Trail Tours » Cusco » Traditional festivities

Cusco festivities

In Cusco there are many feasts due to the catholic devotion of its people and its history.

Corpus Christi

The Cusco festival of Corpus Christi is the most impressive in all of Peru. A processional of saints and virgins from all over the region meet up in Cusco and come together in the main cathedral, late in the morning. There, they ceremonially "greet" the risen Christ. The Plaza de Armas is very, very festive and crowded at this time, with a lot of traditional food, bread, and beer to be consumed. Corpus Christi in Cusco is held two months after Easter Sunday, sometime in June.
* Inti Raymi - This festival, the Inca Festival of the Sun, dates back to the Inca Empire as a celebration of the Sun God. The vivid colors Peruvians wear throughout the procession contrast, stunningly, with the greyish rocks of the buildings and ruins. This is, in many opinions, the most visually beautiful of all the Andean festivals. The Inca Festival of the Sun is held on June 24, or the Winter Solstice in the Southern hemisphere.

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi means "The festival of the Sun", and during the days of the Inca empire was the most important day of the year. The festival takes place during the Winter Solstice, on the day after the longest night in the Southern hemisphere. The festival represents the rebirth of the sun god Inti and in the ancient empire all fireplaces of the city were put out and the "starter fire" was lit in the Koricancha temple which was then taken to light fires all over the city.

Virgen del Carmen

The Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of Paucartambo, known locally as Mamacha Carmen, patron saint of the mestizo population. It is celebrated each year from July 15 - 19 . The gathering, that raises the curtain on these days of celebrations is held in the main square, where troupes of musicians play their instruments while richly dressed choirs sing in Quechua. The setting gives way to a series of ingenious choreographies that portray events in Peruvian history. For five days, dance companies in various costumes take to the streets to accompany the Mamacha throughout the entire procession through the main square, the church and the city streets. On the main day, the virgin is borne aloft in a procession to bless those present and scare away demons. The dancers take to the housetops, performing daring gymnastics, showing off their colorful Inca and colonial garb. At the end of the procession, war is waged on the demons, from which the faithful emerge in triumph.

Qoyllur Rit'i

Qoyllority is a quechua word which means Snowstar or Shining Snow. The people of this zone are also a stream of Taytacha Qoylloriti. This a old religious procession only practiced by the inhabitants of the big Andes. Every year, days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, every small village or clan send a delegation with colorful dancers and "pauluchas" to the Capilla del Senor Qoylloriti. This is situated of the beginning of the mountain Sinakara in the village of Mawayany, at 4600 meters above sea level. Los pauluchas represented alpacas and are intermediares between the Sir Qoylloriti and his men. Therefore the climb at 4 o'clock in the morning the gletzjer Sinikara while they ask for a grow of their groups of animals. During the party the people who partipated in the prosession praise our Fatima Lady to have good luck in business, life and future.

Lord of Tremors

It honors the traditional idea that in 1650 a Christ of the Good Death stopped an earthquake that threatened to level Cusco. The image of the Taytacha Tremors, as it is called in Cusco, amazes by its expression of roughness and pain. The Lord of Tremors festival is held in the last week of March and the first week of April.

Beer Festival

The beer festival held in May every year in Cusco now has an international reputation. Musicians play live music throughout the afternoon and night. The Beer Festival gets pretty crowded, due to its popularity.

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