Cusco Festivals

Cusco celebrates some hundreds of festivals around the year; the spirit of the Peruvian Man, sculpted by art and religion, has given rise to a creative vein which crops up in an endless variety of shapes, rhythms and rituals. Year after year, more than 3,000 folk festivals, 1,500 musical styles and countless arts and crafts confirm that Peru is home to one of the most varied folk legacies on Earth. Some of the festival we mention here:

“Corpus Christi”

Cusco Festivals

Cusco Festivals

This festival can be celebrated at May or June in the Main Square of the city of Cusco as well 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.

Sixty days after Easter Sunday, the members of each nearby church bear their patron saint in a procession to the chimes of the María Angola, Peru’s largest church bell, forged in a copper-gold alloy in the sixteenth century by local artisan “Diego Arias de la Cerda”. At night everyone gathers together, for an overnight vigil, where typical dishes such as “Chiriuchu” (spicy guinea pig), beer, “Chicha” (corn brewed alcohol) and cornbread are served.

At dawn, the procession sets off around the Main Square, bearing the images of five virgins clad in richly embroidered tunics, plus the images of four saints: Sebastian, Blas, Joseph and the Apostle Santiago (Saint James) mounted on a beautiful white horse. Then, the saints enter the Cathedral to receive homage, time after which representatives and authorities from various communities of Cusco, we’ll meet in the Main Square to discuss local affairs.

Inti Raymi or Sunfest

Cusco Festivals

Cusco Festivals

Inti Raymi is celebrated every 24 of June when we are in the winter solstice.This festival was celebrated by the Incas as the Festival of the Sun where the God Sun is honored. Inti Raymi symbolizes the eternal consecration of marriage between the Sun and his sons, the human beings. Inti Raymi was the most important festival of the Inca Empire.

On the 24th of June, they celebrate the shortest day of the year because the Incas thought that the sun is going to another place and with the festivals that includes Llamas sacrifices and great offerings the Incas made that the sun returns and starts a New Year. Scientifically, the solstice begins on the 21st of June, but according to the Pacha Unachaq, a sundial used by the Incas, the sun stays some days in the same place before rising on the 24th of June. This day was proclaimed by the high priest as the New Year: Inti Raymi!

The inhabitants of Cusco traditionally involve about everybody, including tourists, to enjoy and marvel this most special day. Countless additional events are to be seen before, during and after the 24th. These are expositions, street and square activities in daytime and in the evening live concerts given by the very best of Peru’s diverse musical talents, staged in the “Plaza the Armas” (Main Square). This is the second biggest festival in Latin America, after the carnival of Rio.

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