Peru is one of the liveliest countries in the world. Every month of the year is filled with bountiful and beautiful festivals that showcase the culture of this wonderful country.
Peru festivals are the ideal way to experience the true culture of this country. You’ll experience the food, the art, and all other wonders of Peruvian culture. Here are our top picks for the best festivals of Peru:
The Inti Raymi, which translated from Quechua means “Sun Festival” is one of the most important festivities of the imperial city of Cusco and one of the most exciting Peru festivals in the entire country. This wonderful celebration performed in the esplanade of Sacsayhuaman is held every June and aims to pay homage to the Sun God, the supreme symbol of worship in the Inca culture.
Every year about 750 actors participate, who represent their ancestors with the same fervor as these people did centuries ago.
The current inhabitants of the Andean countries, with the presence of national and foreign visitors, continue to carry out this tradition. Being an Inca tradition, Inti Raymi remains a ritual for many other indigenous communities of Inca heritage, some of which are settled in other parts of the ancient Inca territory, such as Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, northern Argentina (Jujuy) and Bolivia.
The Feast of the Señor de Qoyllur Rit’i takes place in the province of Quispicanchis Ocongate district. The main ceremony is held at the foot of Mount Ausangate, which has temperatures below 0 ° C. Qoyllur Rit’I is also known as the Snow Star Festival and is a Catholic celebration of Jesus Christ, the start of the harvest season, an ode to the local sacred glacier, and a celebration of the stars.
The ritual, associated with the fertility of the land and the worship of Apus (mountains, tutelary gods), is part of one of the biggest traditions of indigenous nations. The ritual is a pilgrimage of shepherds, merchants and onlookers gathering at the shrine of Sinakara.
According to ancient tradition, the Baby Jesus appeared to an Indian child, Marianito Mayta. The celebration starts on the day of the Holy Trinity when over 10,000 pilgrims climb to the limit of perpetual snow. It only reaches minimum temperatures around -4 ° C.
The Feast of Corpus Christi used to be celebrated widely throughout the country, but the height of this popular Peru festival is definitely located in the impressive city of Cusco.
Fifteen ornately decorated statues of saints and religious figures are paraded to the beautiful Plaza de Armas, sixty days after Easter Sunday. During this day you can hear the sounds of María Angola, the biggest bell tower of the Church of Peru, built during the 16th century by Diego Arias de la Cerda. The night before, locals prepare and consume twelve typical Peruvian dishes, including cuy chiriuchu, chicha (typical local beer) and more.
The procession on the main day takes place around 11:00 am. The Plaza de Armas is filled with people who came to see the beautifully decorated saints. Corpus Christi is a very colorful and traditional ceremony. For foreign visitors, it’s an excellent opportunity to taste the traditional Peruvian culture up close and personal.
Bajada de Reyes en Ollantaytambo
The traditional Cusqueña Christmas ends with the Feast of the Bajada de Reyes, an event known as the descent of the three wise men. This festival is a clear mixture of colonial and native religions.
Bajadas de Reyes celebrate not only the joyous festivities of Christmastime but also the height of the rainy season. It is a celebration of nourishment and the upcoming growing season. This celebration is marked by a colorful procession of the baby Jesus from the gorgeous church of Marcacocha. Traditional dancing is incorporated creating one of the liveliest festivals in Peru.
On the eve of the Christmas holidays, the ancient city of Cusco has its own traditions and customs, such as the traditional Santurantikuy fair.
This fair is a festive atmosphere donning lights, garlands and Christmas motifs. “Santurantikuy” is a Quechua word meaning “Sale of Saints”; Like this peculiar name, the fair of Santuratikuy is a sample of the synthesis of cultures – the Andean-Quechua and the European colonial.
At the Santurantikuy fair, you can shop around for traditional Peruvian crafts and a variety of other pieces of art made by local Peruvian artisans.
Peru truly has endless festivals to offer. Its culture is one everyone should experience at least once in their life. If you’re looking for the absolute best festivals in Peru, book your culturally immersive experience with Gulliver Expeditions today!