Each year during the final days of October and the first week of November, the small, dusty city of Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca celebrates its founding anniversary. As can be expected for a city known as Peru’s ‘Capital of Folklore’, the event is a riot of color and activity. During the two weeks of celebrations, lucky visitors can watch fireworks shows and concerts and attend food and handicraft fairs.
Outside of Carnaval, this is the best time to see the Diablada, as the devil leads his own parade of dancing demons with red crucifixes. Of the hundreds of folkloric dances native to the region, the most famous is the Diablada, which is danced in Puno, Peru as well as in Oruro, Bolivia on the other side of the lake. Its origin is debatable, but appears to have roots in 2000 year old rituals of the Uru civilization (especially the Dance of Devils), the Aymara deities of Anchanchu or Supaya, and the 16th century religious theater Spanish Jesuits employed to teach Lupaka natives about Catholicism. The impressive masks associated with the dance are traditionally made by the dancers themselves, although certain mask-makers have been gaining prestige in Puno.
Other events include the Puno, Silver City Parade, the crowning of Miss Puno, the Sabores Andina Food Fair, and the Symphony of Sikuris. Sikuris are Andean panpipe players. A few years ago, thousands of them gathered in Puno to set a new Guinness World Record.
There are civil festivities for this year’s 347th anniversary will take place throughout the day of November 4th, the official founding anniversary of the city, and in the evening locals and travelers alike can enjoy the outdoor concerts of the Grand Serenade. The following day, November 5th, Puno celebrates the creation of the Inca Empire with the Emergence of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. According to Incan legend, the empire was founded by this couple, who emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca. Hundreds of artists participate in this production, in which the couple, accompanied by more than a hundred rafters, arrive in the port of Puno in the traditional reed boats of the lake. They will make their way as far as the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano de Puno. This will be followed by an official reenactment of the city’s founding by the Spanish which focuses largely on the exploitation of the infamous Laikakota gold mine just outside of the city. This year, this will take place at the Enrique Torres Belón Stadium, ultimately finishing at the Plaza de Armas (the city’s main square).
If you’d like to learn more about attractions in Puno and on Lake Titicaca, contact Pirwa Travel Service at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help. Also, remember that Pirwa has a hostel in Puno located just a couple of blocks from the main square, which is offering a 15% off discount throughout October and November- we hope that you pay us a visit!