Peru has some of the liveliest and most colorful festivals in South America with many events taking place all year round. With a rich tradition of folkloric music and dance and spectacular costumes, it is well worth planning your vacation in Peru around one of the country’s festivals. Here is a brief run-down of the festivals in Peru coming up over the next few months.
Feb 2-16 Virgen de la Candelaria
Where? Lake Titicaca
The Puno region, where Lake Titicaca is to be found, is known as the folklore capital of Peru and it has some of the most vibrant celebrations in the country. The Virgen del Candeleria festival mixes native Ayamara and Quechua traditions with religious elements, and results in two weeks of exuberant celebrations day and night, with processions, dancing, music and flamboyant costumes. Make sure you catch the Diablada, or the dance of the devils, when dancers in devil costume take to the streets in full force. Click here for a tour to Lake Titicaca.
Feb 4 Pisco Sour Day
The nation’s favorite tipple, the Pisco Sour, is a blend of the national spirit, Pisco, beaten egg whites, fresh lemon juice and plenty of ice. It’s a great summer drink, so February is the perfect time for a festival dedicated to the art of making, and drinking, this delicious cocktail. Lima hosts the celebrations and there are Pisco parties and tastings around the city all day and late into the night. Click here for a tour to Lima.
March 30 – April 8 Semana Santa
Where? All over Peru
Semana Santa is a big occasion in Peru with the whole country celebrating and most businesses and schools closing their doors for the entire week. The festivities are of course heavily religious, but there are also some elements of indigenous traditions incorporated in some of the celebrations. Each day has different events, consisting of ceremonies and processions through the streets, as well as reenactments of the story of Christ. It’s a lively, colorful and interesting event and is well worth planning your trip to Peru around. Some of the best Samana Santa celebrations take place in Arequipa and Ayacucho.
April 2 The Lord of Earthquakes
Celebrated on Easter Monday, along with the catholic festivities of the day, the Lord of the Earthquakes is a pagan celebration that has mingled with the Catholicism of Semana Santa. The day marks the date of a devastating earthquake that hit in Cusco in 1650. The event is celebrated with a procession carrying an effigy of the earthquake lord, and spectators set off fireworks and throw bright red flowers as the procession passes. Click here for a tour to Cusco.