Tag Archives: Festivals in Peru

Image from SoutWindAdventures.com

Festival Season in Peru

Across the world, ‘festival season’ has begun in earnest, and we’ve outlined some of the best festivals and celebrations in Peru this summer, meaning there is no excuse for missing a true Peruvian party.

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In June we have the world-famous Inti Raymi celebration. The Festival of the Sun is a hugely popular event in Peru, and on the 24th June, Cusco will be covered in bright colours, vibrant costumes, colourful dancers and music in celebration. Inti Raymi culminates a week of festivities in Cusco, marking the Incan ceremonies and traditions of the winter solstice. This is a highlight in the Peruvian calendar, and the celebrations have spread internationally, meaning this is more than just a Peruvian tradition, and more of a world class festival.

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July brings a celebration of history, with Fiestas Patrias – or Peruvian Independence Day. In 1821, Peru declared itself independent from Spanish colonialists, and this celebration marks the birth of the best country in South American (of course, we’re biased.) Celebrations are again colourful and vibrant, with traditional dance performances, official street parades, fireworks and traditional entertainments such as horsemanship.
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August is the month dedicated to Pachamama, the Earth Mother. In the Southern Andes, August is the coldest month, and is therefore seen as an ‘unlucky’ time for crop growing and harvest. During this time Andean people believe that they must be on good terms with nature in order to keep themselves and their crops and livestock healthy and protected. Traditionally, before Andean New Year on the 1st August, families prepare to honour Pachamama by cooking a huge feast. The host then digs a hole in the ground, and if the soil comes out cleanly, this means that it will be a good year; If it does not, the year will not bountiful. Before any of the guests are allowed to eat, the first plate of food is offered to Pachamama as a ‘sacrifice’.
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Peru is renowned for its friendly and welcoming nature, and what better time to experience the vibrant culture and traditions that one of these summertime festivals.

 

Cusco at night

Halloween: The Day of the Creole Song in Peru

Creole Day

Do you not do Halloween? Are all of those silly costumes, sickly sweets and chocolates too much? Well, the Peruvians have a an alternative solution: Creole Music Day. Sounds good doesn’t it? You don’t know the half of it.

So what is it?

To sum up, The Ministry of Culture hosts a meet-up and performance of Peruvian Creole music to celebrate the Día de la Canción Criolla on 31st October.

Cusco Square

Creole Music Day was created in 1944 to celebrate the rich tradition of Peruvian Creole music. The word Creole (pronounced criollo) generally refers to Spanish-influenced culture of the Americas. Creole music was born from a mixture of musical traditions from a variety of groups, including African peoples brought to Peru as slaves. Typical instruments include the Peruvian cajón and the guitar, among others.

Creole Day in Peru

For a taste of Peruvian Creole music, interested parties should head down to the III Encuentro de Centros Musicales (3rd Meeting of Musical Centres), where a number of musicians will demonstrate their skills in the Creole musical tradition. The event begins at 7.00pm and it’s free for anyone to attend.

A group of women called "saumeadoras" carry incense as they follow the procession of Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon through central Lima

Seeing Purple: The Lord of The Miracles Festival in Lima, Peru

October is Mes Morado (or purple month) in Lima, Peru, and the faithful dress from head to toe in purple as a sign of their devotion to El Señor de los Milagros (the Lord of Miracles).

A group of women called "saumeadoras" carry incense as they follow the procession of Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon through central Lima

This Christ figure, known for its miracle-working powers, is housed in the Church of the Nazarenes, and thousands of purple clad worshippers come to pray and make offerings during the month of October. There are several processions on different dates in October, including a 24 hour long procession which is one of the largest in all of the Americas annually. Tens of thousands of the faithful dressed in purple tunics, sing hymns and pray as they accompany a huge two tonne litter which bears the painting of the Christ from the church of Las Nazarenas. The smell of incense and the steady beating of drums add to the solemn atmosphere as the procession winds its way along the narrow, purple clad streets of Lima.

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The origins lie in colonial times, when a slave drew an image of Christ on a wall. The wall with the image stayed standing despite an earthquake which destroyed all the building and many around it. Thus, this image has since become one of the most venerated in South America, and the church of Las Nazarenas was built around it.

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The whole of October is classed as Purple month but key procession dates are October 18th, 19th, and October 28th. How are you celebrating this festive time in Peru? We’d love to hear!

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Inti Raymi – the Festival of the Sun in Peru

Visitors from across South America and around the world travel to Cuzco in Peru for the annual Inti Raymi festival, the most important ceremony of the Inca Empire calendar. Each winter solstice, native residents honor the Sun God marking the beginning of a new year: the Festival of the Sun.

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The 24th of June is the most important day of the festival, when a theatrical representation of the Inca ceremony takes place: the Sapa Inca –the Incan emperor-, dressed with silver and gold ornaments, calls on blessings from the god Inti, the ancient Incan sun god. Continue reading