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If there is something that characterizes the provinces of Peru, in addition to its excellent cuisine, are the festivities celebrated all over the year.
Cusco is one of those cities in which whenever you go you will surely find some kind of celebration. If you are preparing your trip to Cusco and you don’t know which date is the best to travel, we tell you some of the best festivities in the imperial city and when they take place.
Undoubtedly, the most representative festival of the Inca Empire. The Inti Raymi was born in the time of the Incas, who commemorated the sun god during the winter solstice with this celebration.
Nowadays, the inhabitants of Cusco continue to carry out activities during this time. June 24 is the main date, but the celebrations begin days before in different points of the city, where traditional music from pre-Hispanic times is played and typical Inca dances are performed. Although you will find activities in different places, the main stage and in which the most impressive performance takes place is Sacsayhuamán. In this Archaeological Park, about 750 actors gather together every 24th of June to recreate what their ancestors did.
The Virgin of Carmen
But not all the festivities held in Cusco are of Inca heritage. The Spaniards left a great mark, among other things, in the religion and the imperial city counts on diverse celebrations in honor to saints and virgins. One of the best known is that of the Virgen del Carmen in Paucartambo.
100 kilometers northeast of Cusco is this district which, between July 15 and 18, thousands of devotees and tourists arrive to celebrate the feast of Virgen del Carmen.
During these days, there are dances and various activities that mix the religion brought by the Spaniards with the Andean tradition, in an event full of not only religious but also social, identity and custom meaning.
Every July 28 and 29, all of Peru is filled with festivity for the celebration of its independence from the Spanish, which occurred in 1821.
In Cusco, like in many other parts of the country, the celebrations begin days before. In the imperial city, different gastronomic events take place and here you will be able to know the most delicious dishes of the food from Cusco and the rest of Peru.
During the central days of the celebration different dances are developed throughout the city, which are accompanied by national music groups that perform different genres from all over the country.
These dances are joined by military parades and schools, in which students from all over the city participate.
Day of the Pachamama
Both the Incas and the inhabitants who lived in Cusco years before had a great adoration for the land or pachamama, since they considered it their protective deity for feeding them.
Nowadays, many people from Cusco continue to live with these traditions, so every first of August they perform various rites throughout Cusco, where the peasants leave for a day to work with the land and in return they perform a ritual of payment to the Pachamama.
During this ceremony, the participants give “gifts” to the land as food, coca leaf or chicha morada, all of them cooked as a sign of respect and gratitude for the products granted by it.
If there is an ideal destination to celebrate New Year in Peru, that is Cusco. The capital of the Inca empire is filled during these dates by Peruvian and foreign visitors who meet in the Plaza de Armas to experience the firework festival.
When it is almost twelve o’clock at night, the curious “return to the square” takes place. All the people present in this place, known and unknown, hold its hands and begin to turn counterclockwise, forming a large circle in the entire square.
Also there are dozens of other traditions, such as making the return with a suitcase in hand, so that the next year is full of travel. Who does not want a year knowing the world?
As you see, Cusco is full of special and eye-catching celebrations. But these are not the only dates on which you can enjoy traditional events! During most of the year, typical activities are developed, so you can surely enjoy what we tell you or some other during your visit to the imperial city. Enjoy the Cusco culture!