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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.