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Oktoberfest Peru 2017 back to the coast of Lima

Oktoberfest Peru 2017 back to the coast of Lima

Since the first edition of Oktoberfest-Perú in 2002, this festival has become one of the most popular events in the country, and even took place in other parts of the country such as Cusco Oktoberfest edition in 2008.

This year, the official Oktoberfest-Perú, will be celebrated between the 27th and 31th October on the seaside esplanade in Magdalena del Mar, Lima.

This edition is coming-up full of great perfomances and shows. You can enjoy more than 10 kind of beer and traditional meals of the german cooking, besides the dancing groups and rock music by the folk german band Zugspitzmusik that is exclusively coming from Germany for the festival.

The Lord of Miracles: The Purple Month in Lima

The Lord of Miracles: The Purple Month in Lima


One of Peru’s most prominent religious festivals, the Lord of Miracles, will kick off on October 18th, lasting ten days. October is known as the Purple Month in Lima, which isn’t surprising considering that you’ll see the color appearing everywhere throughout those weeks. In honor of the city’s patron saint, some devotees wear this color all month long. One of Peru’s most popular soccer teams, Alianza Lima, even changes the color of their team jerseys for the month.


Who is the Lord of Miracles? In the 1650s, Angolan slaves and freedmen formed the Pachacamilla guild, which managed religious services (like baptisms and funerals) and provided economic assistance within the community. One of its members painted the image now known as the Lord of Miracles (or the Black Christ) on a crude adobe wall of the slave quarters. Four years later, an earthquake devastated Lima and Callao, leveling all of Pachacamilla except for the wall with the Christ painting. As meetings and masses began to be held at the image, authorities attempted to halt them. The image survived numerous attempts to erase it, as well as another incredibly destructive earthquake and subsequent tidal wave. Finally, authorities accepted the growing cult, the Church of Nazcarenas was built around the image and the processions began.

Lord_of_Miracles_procession_Lima_Peru_05The main event is one of South America’s largest processions, during which the image is taken from its home church Las Nazarenas and to other historic colonial churches, accompanied by the incense and drums of the faithful. The main procession lasts 24 hours, with thousands taking part. The icon is carried on a 2-ton litter by groups (brotherhoods) who work in short shifts before passing the load on to the next group. They are accompanied by singers and dancers as the streets are strewn with flowers and confetti.

The streets fill with vendors offering a wide Turron_Dona_Pepa_Lord_of_Miracles_Treatvariety of treats, but the signature choice for October is the Turrón de Doña Pepa, a sticky anise-flavored pastry created by a black slave who credited the Lord of Miracles with restoring the use of her arms and hands. If you’re one of those who find the turrón too sweet, you can opt for picarones, pumpkin fritters in syrup. Another traditional choice associated with the festivities are the skewered beef hearts known as anticuchos.



Lima’s bullfighting season also begins in October, and is named in honor of the Lord of Miracles. Some of the world’s best bullfighters gather at the Plaza de Acho, which at 246 years old is the second oldest bullring in the world which is still in use. Events take place every Sunday afternoon, with cheap tickets in the sun and expensive ones in the shade. There’s a growing antitaurino movement in Lima as well, pushing for a ban on bullfighting (which in Peru is to the death). This means you are also likely to see protestors outside the stadium.

For assistance with transport or excursions for Lima, Peru, feel free to contact Pirwa Travel Service, with more than 10 years experience providing travel services throughout Peru and Bolivia!

10 Ways to Celebrate the Fiestas Patrias of Peru in Lima

10 Ways to Celebrate the Fiestas Patrias of Peru in Lima

Each July 28th, Peru celebrates the anniversary Jose de San Martín’s proclamation of independence in Lima’s Plaza de Armas, and on the 29th, honors its Armed Forces and National Police. It’s one of the year’s most important holidays, with many workers taking advantage of the long weekend to travel. Others enjoy the parades, music, food and dances to be had in their own cities. If you’re traveling during the days surrounding Fiestas Patrias, be aware that some shops and banks will only open for half a day or not at all. Buses and flights continue, but the increased demand due to the long weekend means higher prices and less availability.

In Lima, the first day begins with a 21-cannon salute and the raising of the flag, a Te Deum at the Lima Cathedral, and the president’s address to congress regarding the state of the nation. The following day is the Great Military Parade and, during election years, the new president is sworn in.

The first thing you’ll notice are the red and white flags fluttering festively along the city streets, and a party atmosphere throughout. Get into the spirit by donning your Peruvian flag, sinking your teeth into traditional treats, and raising a glass of the national liquor, pisco. Or better yet, check out our list of 10 ways to celebrate Fiestas Patrias in Lima:

10. Attend the Serenade in Parque de la Muralla (Free- July 27th)

On the eve of Independence Day, Lima sponsors a serenade known as Lima Salutes the Nation. Expect to see Afro-Peruvian Creole Music, Folkloric Bands, Marinera Dancers, and modern rock groups as well. It ends with a short fireworks display.

9. Watch the Fireworks (Free- July 27th)

Although the informal, not-quite-legal fireworks will begin exploding sporadically beforehand, the official show begins at midnight. You’ll be able to appreciate the show from the Plaza de Armas (Lima’s main square) and the surrounding streets.

8. Watch the Magical Water Circuit at Reserve Park’s “3D Spectacular” (4 Soles- July 27th)

In honor of Fiestas Patrias, the fountain park known as the Magical Water Circuit puts on a show of lights, music, and 3D footage of Lima’s Municipal Ballet, folkloric dances from around Peru, and other cultural standards. The park hands out the glasses and projects the show on the large Fantasia Fountain. Each show lasts 20 minutes and will run continuously throughout the long weekend, from 8:15pm to 9:15pm. You can also explore the rest of the park’s fountains and enjoy musical bands and traditional food.

7. Drink Pisco From the Central Fountain (Free- July 28th)

Lima celebrates Pisco Day on the 4th Sunday of July….this year, it falls on the same day as Fiestas Patrias! Most bars will offer specials on this day, but you can enjoy a free taste in the Plaza de Armas, where 2,000 liters of Pisco replace the water that normally runs through the historic fountain. This is generally accompanied by a Peruvian Paso Horse show and musical bands, but since it falls on the same day as Independence Day this year, expect a different- and better!- show.


6. Watch the Gran Corso (Free- Date To Be Announced)

serenata-de-lima-7The colorful floats, long dragons, costumed performers, and bands of the Gran Corso (Great Parade) stretch several blocks and snakes through downtown Lima, around Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, and into Barranco. Stake out a spot in Parque Kennedy to watch the parade, or walk down 28 de Julio Avenue in central Lima to see the floats lined up before parading. Miraflores’ neighboring barrio to the south, Barranco, has the least crowds, so for better visibility and photos, try watching from there.

The date varies throughout the week and hasn’t been anounced yet (last year it took place on Sun July 22nd), so you’ll need to ask; remember that many people will refer to it as the Corso de Wong, after the supermarket sponsor. It’s worth tracking down though- it’s the best parade of the Fiestas (as the military parade can be a bit…sober).

5. Sample Anticuchos & Other Traditional Foods (3-15 Soles, All Week)

Fiestas_Patrias_Lima_6Anticucho means cut stew meat in Cusco, and while you’ll find chicken, beef, sausage, and intestine, the most traditional choice is beef heart. During Inca times, the dish was prepared with llama, but the Afro-Peruvian population redefined it using the organ meats available to slaves during the colonial period. It can be intimidating to try, but they’re delicious and a great way to get into the Peruvian spirit. More anticuchos are consumed in July than during any other part of the year! You’ll find many vendors hawking them streetside.

In addition, Lima hosts a national food fair all throughout the week of Independence day, allowing you to sample goodies from the desert coast, the Andean range, and the Amazon jungle all in one place.

4. Toast with Pisco Sours or Ponche de los Libertadores

Peru’s national drink is the Pisco Sour, although another solid toasting choice is Liberator´s Punch, with which Congress has been toasting independence ever since the Lima City Council set the tradition during the first swearing of independence.

3. Visit Kennedy Park to View the Exhibitions (Free- All Week)

Visit the always-lively Kennedy Park, which will fill up with vendors and special exhibits celebrating Peruvian heritage.

2. Take Advantage of Free Offers (Prices & Dates Vary)

Museums generally offer free or discounted admission on the days of the long weekend surrounding the holiday, so make sure to check what’s on offer!

1. Watch Marinera Dances and Peruvian Paso Horses at Hacienda Mamacona

Lima’s Hacienda Mamacona (actually located a little outside of the city, but offering buses to the locale) offers a Peruvian Paso horse show along with folk dances and Peruvian food. Last year, it took place on July 29th. It’s a scenic locale steeped in Peruvian traditions, so if you’ve got a little more to spend, pay them a visit. Just look up videos and illustrated brochures of the event, and call if you’d like to reserve.

Celebrate Peruvian Style: Creole Music Day is Coming on October 31

Celebrate Peruvian Style: Creole Music Day is Coming on October 31

Creole Music Day on Halloween
Creole Music Day on Halloween

Don’t feel like dressing up this Halloween?? There’s another option….


On Creole Music Day Peruvians toast, party, and sing to the beat of música criolla, a genre combining Afro-Peruvian and Andean styles and giving rise to a bevy of stars including the internationally recognized singer and current Minister of Culture, Susana Baca, and the great Eva Ayllon. The most popular of this genre is the Marinera, the national dance of Peru, although it also includes the Peruvian Waltz, Tondero, Festejo, Peruvian Polka, Zamacueca, Landó, and others.

This musical staple of the coastal region was honored in 1944 when Creole Music Day was announced as a national holiday, and has been celebrated alongside Halloween ever since.


Party with us at Pirwa Colonial!
Party with us at Pirwa Colonial!

Those of you staying with us in one of our four Pirwa hostels in Cusco shouldn’t miss the FREE Concert in Cusco for “Día de la Canción Criolla”. It takes place on Oct 31st at 7:00pm  at the ICPNA Auditorio (Av. Tullumayo #125).


Don’t forget that we are also having our own HALLOWEEN PARTY at Pirwa Colonial Backpackers, so no matter which of the hostels you are staying at, you should definitely stop by after the concert! We’ll get started around 8:30 and will go as long as you do!….


Your New Pirwa Friends...
Your New Pirwa Friends...

If you’re staying in one of our two Lima hostels on October 31st, you’ll have lots of options. Because we are located in the Miraflores district of Lima, we’re perfectly located near a variety of lively and safe establishments.

Below are some Miraflores options for Creole Music Day, for those who are interested. We’re partying for Halloween in Pirwa Prada Backpackers Hostel as well, so stop by!

Kimba Fá

Afro-Peruvian percusión with traditional instruments at De Teatro Canout located at Av. Petit Thouars 4550 in Miraflores. If you can’t make it on the 31st, the show will continue nightly until the 20th of Nov from Fridays through Mondays at 8 p.m.. Tickets at Teleticket.


We love you Susana!
We love you Susana!

Singer Lourdes Carhuas will sing the classical themes of the creaole repertoire at the Jazz Zone located at Av. La Paz 656, Pasaje El Suche in Miraflores. The show begins at 11 p.m. and entry is S/.20.00- call 241-8139 for reservations.

Noche Peruana

Giselle Altuna will sing Valses, Polkas, Landóas and Festejos at the ICPNA Miraflores Auditorio located on Av. Ángamos Oeste 120. The show starts at 7:30pm and entrance is FREE.

Lord of the Miracles in Lima on October 18-28

Lord of the Miracles in Lima on October 18-28

Celebration of the “Black Christ”

Doña Pepa's Turron: Exuberantly Decorated but Still Delicious
Doña Pepa's Turron: Exuberantly Decorated but Still Delicious

Today kicks off the Feast of the Lord of Miracles in Lima, one of Peru’s most revered religious festivities. Its main ceremony is the procession through the streets of Lima, the largest in South America. During this 24-hour procession 1000s of purple-clad believers follow those carrying the icon on a 2-ton litter resting on the shoulders of faithful who carry it in short shifts before passing the load onto the next group.


The Purple Procession
The Purple Procession

As they make their wayfrom the church ofLas Nazarenas, crossing downtown Lima, to the church of La Merced in Barrios Altos, singers, dancers, and vendors strew the streets with flowers. The streets fill with vendors of a wide variety of typical dishes and sweets, such as the famous Turrón de Doña Pepa, a sticky anise-flavored sweet. Its creator was a black slave, Josefa Marmanillo (Doña Pepa), who believed that her devotion to the Lord of Miracles returned to her the use of her arms and hands. It’s the signature treat of October and despite its… different… appearance, is delicious- we recommend giving it a try!

Lima’s bullfighting season in October and November is named after and held in honor of the Lord of Miracles, with the best bullfighters in the world gathering in Lima’s 200 year old bullring (the 2nd oldest in the world) to compete.

Humble Origins

Africans in Peru, slaves as well as free, were allowed to form guilds which managed altars or chapels and served for baptisms, meetings, wakes, and sometimes economic assistance. Around 1651 the Pachamamilla guild was founded and in its seat, on one of the crude adobe walls of the slave quarters, a black angolan slave or freedman painted the famous image. Four years later 1655 a devastating earthquake shook Lima and Callao, tumbling temples, mansions, and houses, with thousands dead and injured. Pachacamilla was leveled but for the wall with the Christ painting. Meetings and masses began to be held at the image, now considered miraculous, despite the disapproval of authorities as the gatherings grew in size. The painting survived numerous attempts to erase it, another earthquake of astonishing destructive power in 1746 and subsequent tidal wave. The Church of Las Nazarenas was built around the image and a replica made for the procession, which has been held every year since the 1746 earthquake.