Bolivians enjoy a plethora of religious and cultural festivals throughout the year, so no matter what month you plan on visiting the country, you are sure to find some exciting activities. For those of you who are traveling in September, here is our roundup of the country’s festivals:
This August 15th will mark the 476th founding anniversary of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru and a popular destination for travelers wishing to the world’s two deepest canyons, which are located nearby. 20,000 people are expected to visit the city during the month’s celebrations.
A full roster of activities has been planned so that locals and tourists alike can mark the occasion all month long. Just a few days ago, there was a Chicha Fair in the city’s main square, accompanied by a marching band parade, and a few days before that the cathedral bells signaled the start of a military parade.
The larger events are still yet to come, however, and as usual we’ve got all of the details for you:
Up to the time of the Spanish Conquest, the people of Cusco venerated mallquis, the mummies of former leaders, adorning them with care and carrying them through the streets atop heavy litters on sacred days. Although the appalled Spanish banned this custom, it was retained through a simple solution: rather than abandoning the practice completely, the mummies were replaced with statues of saints and the Virgin Mary, giving birth of the modern Corpus Christi festival in Cusco. Thus, the colorful Corpus Christi celebrations of Cusco are as Andean as they are Catholic.
Despite the religious tenor of the Holy Week in Cuzco, the city’s unique Andean spin on the festivities means it’s a fun time for tourists of all backgrounds to enjoy. What can you expect? Fireworks, concerts, and lots of food… It begins with Palm Sunday on March 24th and culminates with Easter Sunday on March 28th, although in contrast to Holy Week celebrations in other cities, in Cuzco the principal day of celebrations is Holy Monday. This is because it’s the day of the Lord of Tremors processions, which we wrote about in our last post.
Here, we’ll talk about the events planned for the main days of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, and Good Friday.