Festivities

February (*)

Virgen de la Candelaria
During 18 days Puno city becomes the America Folckloric capital. 
On the central day, the Virgin parades the city in a colorful procession, followed by more than 200 bands of musicians and a similar number of groups who dance around the city and compete for prizes in the local stadium. The festivity is related to the pre-Hispanic farming cycles of planting and harvesting (worshipping Pachamama or Mother Earth), as well as with the region’s mining activity.

Puno
       
April (*)
Easter Week
Easter week represents the peak of religious sentiment for the people of the Andes. The departmental capital of Ayacucho, San Cristóbal de Huamanga, 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.
 
Ayacucho
  (*)

Peruvian Paso horse festival
The contest takes place in Mamacona, at the foot of the pre-Inca Pachacamac oracle. The Peruvian Paso horse is a breed of Spanish and Berber races that took 300 years. Its gait is a series of synchronized movements of the front and rear legs in parallel fashion, a trait that has made it one of the most beautiful and elegant horses in the world.

Lima
       
May 3rd and 4th

Feast of Alacitas and Las Cruces
It is a special occasion where the inhabitants sell miniature handcrafted items, symbolizing the things anyone wishes to possess like houses, cars, money, etc, in different fairs located along the main streets of each city. Bolivian artisans also participate in this festival.

Puno
       
June (*)

Corpus Christi
Fifteen saints and virgins from different Cusco districts arrive at the cathedral in procession to salute Christ’s body in the form of a consecrated wafer kept in the fabulous 26-kg massif gold custody. During the night wake, typical dishes, such as chiriuchu (guinea pig and hot peppers), chicha and corn bread, are served. As soon as the sun rises, the parade starts around the main square, and then the images enter the cathedral to salute each other. Finally, the delegations go back to their churches in the midst of songs and prayers.

Cusco
  from 4th to 11th

Qoyllur Rit'i
The largest pilgrimage of all indigenous nations of the Americas. More than 10 thousand people arrive in Sinakara, at the foot of the Ausangate mountain (6362 masl / 20873 fasl), to pay homage to a painting of Child Jesus. The ascent of a group of strong Queros to the snow-capped summit to seek the Star of the Snow (Qoyllur Rit’i) in the mountain’s heart is full of symbolism. They will take large blocks of ice on their shoulders back to their Quechua communities to water their lands with sacred water.

Cusco
  24

Inti Raymi 
Inti Raymi is the Sun’s festivity. It coincides with the winter solstice and the harvests season. The Sacsayhuaman fortress is the stage for the ceremony, following a detailed script, including the sacrifice of two llamas to tell the future. The Inca, who urges the authorities in Cusco’s main square to govern well, presides over the ceremony. At dusk, the Inca announces the end of the day’s ceremonies and merry-making starts.

Cusco
  24

Chaccu in Pampas Galeras
This traditional festival consists of creating a human fence to surround and trap the vicuñas that will be sheered. Before the chaccu, the local people perform the pagapu, an ancient ceremony of giving thanks to the Pachamama or Mother Earth and the Andean gods for protecting their animals. Vicuña fur is extremely sought after for its high quality and value in the international market.

Ayacucho
       
July 15th and 16th

Virgen del Carmen 
The Virgin of El Carmen or Mamacha Carmen, patroness of mixed-blood people, is worshipped in a colorful procession of her image along the village streets. Music and singing in Quechua, and groups representing passages of the history of Peru. On the central day, the Virgin blesses the attendants and casts off demons that perform risky acrobacies on roof tops. The grand finale, is a war against demons in which the faithful triumph.

Cusco
  28th and 29th

Independence day
Across the country, Peruvians throw parties and hold patriotic celebrations to remember the Declaration of Peru's Independence (July 28, 1,821) by the Libertador José de San Martín. In Lima and cities across Peru, even in remote communities, homes fly the Peruvian flag from the start of July.
On the night of July 27, Peruvians often stage serenatas to the strains of folk and Creole music in plazas and public parks. Dawn on July 28 is greeted with a salvo of 21 cannons, to herald the ceremony of raising the flag. On the following day, before the famous military parade is held in downtown Lima, the Te Deum ceremony, attended by the president, is celebrated in the Lima Cathedral.

All the country
       
August 15th

Arequipa city aniversary
For this celebration, the city organizes the International Fair of Arequipa located on MountJuli, artisanal exhibitions in the Fundo El Fierro, the Festidanza dance festival, and the international Climb Mount Misti contest. The main day, 15th August , is when the Friendship Parade takes place..

Arequipa
  30th

Santa Rosa de Lima
Saint Rose of Lima is the name that made Isabel Flores de Oliva famous. She was a pious Lima woman of the XVII century with great religious inclination and given to serving the sick. The Vatican named her Patroness of the Americas and the Philippines.
Her sanctuary in downtown Lima is visited by the faithful asking for a miracle. On this date, visitors to the hermitage she built is visited and drop letters into the well where she dropped the key to her cilice.

Lima
       
Septiembre (*)

International spring festival
Colonial Trujillo streets and houses are decorated for the floats parade led by the Queen of Spring, followed by foreign and Peruvian beauty queens. Skillful cheerleaders from abroad also catch the bystanders attention.

Trujillo
       
October 2nd half

El Señor de los Milagros
This image gathers around it the largest numberts of devotees in South America. It dates back to colonial times, when a black slave painted it on the walls of a run-down property. In spite of earthquakes and attempts at erasing it, the miraculous image has remained intact. Thousands of believers dressed in purple habits sing and pray to accompany the image in procession. It is a date to enjoy “turrón de Doña Pepa” (a nougat) and delicious “picarones” (ring-shaped fritters). To honor the Black Christ, bull fighting at Plaza de Acho, gathers the most prestigious bullfighters of Spain and the Americas.

Lima
       
November from 1st to 7th

Puno city anniversary
To celebrate the city, the school pupils are in charge of organizing civic demonstrations and dance shows throughout the city streets. On 5th November, the people present an account of the creation of the Inca Empire, the legend that tells how the mythic couple Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo emerged from the sacred lake in search of land to found the Empire.

Puno
       
December  24th

Santuranticuy
This fair takes place in the Cusco Main Square and brings together artisans to sell a large variety of sacred representations, woodcarvings, and pottery to put nativity scenes together.

Cusco