From the most important Peru Public Holidays (Around 3,000 annual folk festivals that are carried out every year in Peru), Here we have a selection of the most important ones. Most of them are dedicated to a patron saint, (lord and ladies), since the christian calendar imposed during the Spanish Vice-regency, the celebrations go from 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 some selection of the most meaningful festivals in Peru, chosen for their tourist popularity, geographic reach and unique character. Let us to know about your interests and we will design a tailor made program, that suits your expectations.
Peru Public Holidays “Peru’s most important celebrations”
Around 3,000 annual folk festivals are carried out every year in Peru. Most of them are dedicated to a patron saint, (lord and ladies), since the christian calendar imposed during the Spanish Vice-regency. The celebrations go from 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 some selection of the most meaningful festivals in Peru, chosen for their tourist popularity, geographic reach and unique character. Let us to know about your interests and we will design a tailor made program, that suits your expectations.
Most important Calendar:
January 20 – Marinera dance Festival – (trujillo la libertad): The marinera is one of the representative and elegant dances in Peru, the dance involves a great deal of flirting between couples, who each twitch a handkerchief in their right hand while keeping the beat during what is fairly complex choreography. In the northern Peru Trujillo holds the country’s most important marinera competition, which 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.
February 1 – 14 = Virgen de la Candelaria (Puno): Amassive celebration and the most important in the altiplanic puno, dancers fill the streets of Puno city, nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca, 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 Mamacha Candelaria. The lady candelaria is led through the city in a colorful procession. imagine 400 people dancing just in a group and all of them in a competition between other groups, the you will see: The dance of the demons or diablada known as the main dance of the festival, morenada, nicely dressed girls, and many other of curse in a complete art demostration. do not miss it.
March second half – April 1st week – Lord of earthquakes (Cusco). Ever since 1650, when the faithful claim that an oil painting of Christ on the Cross held off a devastating earthquake that was rattling the city of Cusco, the locals have been honoring the image of Taytacha 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.
April 3rd week – festival and competition of the Peruvian horse – (Lima): The Spanish horse, bred with the Arab stallion and reared in a desert environment, which formed its 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.
May 3 rd. Festivity of the crosses – (cerro de pasco, Cusco). This Festivity is very distinctive and celebrated along andean peru, since people from towns from the andes and jungle shows up carrying crosses of differing sizes and weights. it is escorted by groups of musicians and dancers to the church for mass celebration. They venerate the cross, it is also practiced as familiar fest and open form.
May 1st week – qoyllur ritty pilgrimage – (Cusco). Qoyllur Rit’i means star of the snows. It’s a festival that combines masses in a Catholic church with a solemn moonlit and a large challenging trek up to a dangerous glacier, to show respect and make retibution ceremony to the Apus, the Protector Mountains 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. Qoylluritty is located nearby Ausangate Mountain at 4,600 meters (15,090 ft), lands with holy water from the sinak’ara mountain. Where temperatures often plunge below freezing where dancers do not stop dancing all nights and days. Brings thousands of peregrines. 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.
June – the Corpus Christi procession, (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 jewelry 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 hot chili pepper” 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.
June 24th – Inti Raymi “sun fest”- Cusco: 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 territory 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 sapan Inka 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’ssector named “Kusipata” (Plaza del Regocijo) where after being nourished, peoplewere entertained with music, dances and abundant chicha (natural fermented corn drink).
July 15th: Virgen del carmen – Cusco: there are several places in cusco region where this fest called Virgen del carmen (lady of carmin), during the day groups of dancers go around the whole town, everything turns colorful magic, and the local musicians make their part on it, the people who came to watch became entangle with all bands and mixing themselves between the community into a magic celebration, there basically the places for a good show, Paucartambo at about 6 hours by bus, huarocondo at 01 hour and finally the ancient is this type of celebration and unique dances are is Zurite.
July 28th – 29 Peruvian independence anniversary: 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).
September 14. Señor de Huanca – Cusco: The festivity of the Mr. de Huanca. Includes the peregrination of people from cusco and regions around, there as well as the sort and fair of the cattle in the town of San Salvador; where hundreds of thousands of people will go at least once a year. The younger people will walk over night from Cusco city crossing the mount, will arrive to the place at 08 in the morning.
October 18 – 28 – Lord of The miracles Parade: (Lima):multitudinary processions worldwide takes 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 thousands of pilgrims dress in purple tunics. Around this time of year, the streets fill with vendors of a wide variety of typical dishes 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.
Nov 1st. All saints (Cusco). The Day of All the Saints. It is a national holiday, Peruvians will visits the cemeteries, this ceremony comes from incan times where natives use to bring the most delicious meals to the cemeteries and left them for their ancestors soul. In cusco locals make special “wawa and caballo” (wrists and pony shape breads ), consumption of lechon (baked Pig) and the Tamales.
Dec 24th: Santu Ranticuy (Cusco). The fair of Santuranticuy takes place at the cusco city main square, hundres of artisans will sell objects used in the Christmas eve, villagers will bring moss from the mount and well it to cusquenian. While older villagers are trying to get some money from selling the ferns and moss, the kinds may have some hot chocolate offered by private companies who will also give some toys.
There are many more public celebrations in every village and town, but this is only the main ones, if you want to know something specific related to, please write us.