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| festivals and rituals >> february | gastronomy | history | dances | folk art | musical instruments |

Peruvian Festivals and Rituals on February

Marinera Festival
January

Carnival!!!
February

Wine Festival
March

Peruvian Paso Horse Festival
April

Festival of the Holy Crosses
May

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Protectors of the Peruvian Fishermen
June

Independence Day
July

Saint Rose of Lima and America
August

Spring Festival
September

Lord of Miracles
October

All Saints, Day of the Death (Halloween next day)
November

Christmas
December

 

 

 

 

Mamacha Candelaria / Virgin Mother Candelaria


Location
: Puno
Date: February 1 - 14

For 18 days, the highland town of Puno, nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca at an altitude of 3,870 meters above sea level, is becomes the Folk Capital of the Americas.

The festival gathers more than 200 groups of musicians and dancers to celebrate the Mamacha Candelaria. For the first nine days, the mayordomos (those in charge of organizing the festivities) decorates the church and pay for Mass, banquets and fireworks displays.

On the main day, February 2, the virgin is led through the city in a colorful procession comprising priests, altar boys, the faithful, Christians and pagans carefully maintaining the hierarchy. This is the moment when the troupes of musicians and dancers take the scene, performing and dancing throughout the city. The festival is linked to the pre-Hispanic agricultural cycles of sowing and harvesting, as well as mining activities in the region. It is the result of a blend of respectful Aymara gaiety and ancestral Quechua seriousness.

The dance of the demons, or Diablada, the main dance of the festival, was allegedly dreamed up by a group of miners trapped down a mine who, in their desperation, resigned their souls to the Virgen de la Candelaria. The dancers, blowing zampoña pan-pipes and clad in spectacular costumes and outlandish masks, make their offerings to the earth goddess Pachamama. The most impressive masks, for their terrifying aspect, are those of the deer fitted with long twisted horns similar to the Devil, and Jacancho, the god of minerals.

During the farewell, or cacharpari, the dancers who fill the streets finally head to the cemetery to render homage to the dead.

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Tinca de Vacas / Cattle Branding


Location
: Quico, Cusco
Date: February 27 - 30

This festival, which is linked to the Apostle Santiago (St. James), culminates in cattle-branding.

This ceremony, celebrated only by families who own livestock, invite visitors to eat beef or llama meat and drink chicha.

The festival is hosted in the community of Quico, located at 4,800 meters above sea level. Access, via the Urcos-Quince Mil track (on muleback), is tough but worth the effort.

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Carnival


Location
: All over Peru
Date: 2nd half of February - 1st week of March

Peruvian carnivals are marked by the festive character of Andean areas, which regularly break with their solemn traditions. Beyond regional variations, a common characteristic of nearly the entire highland chain is the ritual of the yunza, called umisha in the jungle and cortamonte on the coast. It involves artificially planting a tree trunk laden with gifts, around which the guests dance until it is chopped with a machete or an ax. The couple who make the final hack that brings down the tree will then both be in charge of organizing the yunza next year.

Peruvians across the country are extremely fond of tossing buckets of water at each other during this festival, so onlookers would be wise to take precautions. Cities where carnivals reach a high point include Cajamarca and Puno.

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Photos PromPeru

Diablada, Dance of the Demons
silkuri musician
 
carnival in cajamarca
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