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Peruvian Festivals and Rituals on April

Marinera Festival


Wine Festival

Peruvian Paso Horse Festival

Festival of the Holy Crosses

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Protectors of the Peruvian Fishermen

Independence Day

Saint Rose of Lima and America

Spring Festival

Lord of Miracles

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






Crosses of Porcon , Cruces de Porcon

: Porcon, Cajamarca
Date: 2nd half of March - 1st week of April

Weaving through the early mists that still shroud the highlands just before dawn, an impressive procession of huge, colorful wooden crosses progresses down the valley of Porcón to celebrate the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

Unlike other Easter Week celebrations, the one in this fun-loving village located half an hour by road from the city of Cajamarca does not dwell on the death of Christ. On the main day of the festival, Palm Sunday, four different ceremonies are held: the crowning of the crosses, the greeting of the Lord at the home of the mayordomo (the person in charge of organizing the festivities), the various responses sung in Quechua and Latin, and finally the procession to the plantation chapel.

The crosses are decorated with round and oval-shaped mirrors symbolizing the souls of the dead, as well as figures representing the Virgin Mary, the Heart of Jesus and a wealth of symmetrically placed patron saints forming a huge rhomboid. The locals hang metal bells from the corners to announce the arrival of the crosses to the community. During the imposing procession of the crosses, angels dressed out in turquoise, yellow and pink, stride ahead, hanging onto the señorca, the donkey carrying the Lord of the Palms.

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Easter Week

: Ayacucho
Date: 2nd half of March - 1st week of April

Easter week represents the peak of religious sentiment for the people of the Andes. The departmental capital of Ayacucho, San Cristóbal de Huamanga, located in the central Andes at an altitude of 2,761 meters above sea level, celebrates one of the most intense portrayals of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

The week starts out with the entry of Jesus into the city riding on a donkey. On Wednesday, the images of the Virgin Mary and Saint John are paraded in fervent processions through streets carpeted with flower petals until they meet up with the litter bearing the image of Christ, whom they "greet" in the main square. On the evening of Holy Friday, the lights of the city wink out to give way to the Christ of Calvary. The image sets out from the Monastery of Santa Clara in a procession through the streets on a litter strewn with white roses, followed by the grieving Virgin Mary and lines of men and women strictly dressed in mourning bearing lit candles. The litter, which features thousands of white candles, is simply magnificent.

The litter is then accompanied with prayers and songs throughout the night until the three-hour sermon is delivered on Saturday. After days of grieving, Resurrection Sunday takes on a festive air, Christ is resurrected and appears once more on his litter and is carried through the streets.

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Lord of Earthquakes - Señor de los Temblores

: Cusco
Date: 2nd half of March - 1st week of April

Ever since 1,650, when the faithful claim that an oil painting of Christ on the Cross held off a devastating earthquake that was rattling the city of Cuzco, the locals have been rendering homage to the image of Taitacha Temblores, the Lord of the Earthquakes. The celebration is held on Easter Monday against the backdrop of Easter Week in the city of Cuzco.

This celebration is of particular interest because it allows onlookers to get a glimpse of the fusion of Andean religions and Christianity. The Cuzco Cathedral, where the image is kept, is built on the foundations of the ancient temple dedicated to the pagan god Apulla Tikse Wiracocha.

The image of the Lord of Earthquakes is borne aloft in a procession through the streets of the city just as the Incas used to parade the mummies of their chieftains, high priests and supreme rulers. In the end, the dominating part of the celebration involves the ñucchu flower (salvia esplendes), used as an offering to the ancient gods Kon and Wiracocha.

The same flower today is used to weave a crown for the Lord of the Earthquakes. This crimson colored flower, whose petals are scattered by the faithful over the venerated image, symbolizes the blood of Christ.

The image used today was donated by King Charles V, and despite centuries of smoke from the candles and incense, no one has dared to restore the blackened painting, that has given the Christ a somber aspect and a dark countenance.

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Peruvian Paso Horse Festival

: Pachacamac, Lima
Date: April 15-20

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. For 300 years, the blood of this new breed was improved upon until the Paso horse developed the characteristics that have made it one of the world's most beautiful and elegant breeds. Breeders, chalan riders and artisans, over the years, have worked on the art of ambladura -the synchronized gait of the fore and hindlegs- which in turn gave rise to the elegant steps and dress of the marinera.

The entire costume comprises the saddle and trimmings and the splendid outfit of the chalan himself (white shirt and trousers, wide-brimmed straw hat, vicuña wool poncho, handkerchief, boots and spurs).

This tradition, which has been exported all over the world, has been spurred on by a number of competitions both along the Peruvian coast as well as in the highlands.

The most important competition, however, is the National El Paso Horse Competition held every year at the Mamacona stables near Pachacamac, located 30 km south of Lima.

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Photos courtesy of latinotravel

Crosses of Porcon

Photos courtesy of enjoyperu

Easter Week

Photos courtesy of qosqo

Lord of Earthquakes
Peruvian Paso Horse
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