Aside from Christmas, Easter is the most important festival in South America. The Spanish conquistadors brought Catholicism to Latin American, and in doing so, they took along their customs. Semana Santa, or Holy Week, usually starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. During these days, the population celebrates traditional Christian Easter festivities in combination with the unique traditions of the Andes. Anyone who visits Peru during this time of year can look forward to elaborate processions, jubilant celebrations and traditional dishes.
Semana Santa is celebrated extravagantly in Peru. For the entire week, you can witness numerous processions and parades throughout the cities with the locals in festive costumes. Many places serve special traditional dishes and drinks during this week.
One of the most spectacular celebrations is the parade that honors the patron saint ´´Nuestro Señor de los Temblores,´´ held on Easter Monday and white Thursday. Many cities in Peru and towns in the highlands of the Andes celebrate this week with their very own traditions, unique to their respective places in Peru.
Ayacucho, a city in southern Peru, is especially well-known for its devoted celebrations of Semana Santa. The highlight of the festivities is Easter morning, when the Resurrected Christ is carried out of the main cathedral into the central square, which is filled with people bearing candles and tending bonfires from the night before.
It's an incredible experience to be in Peru during Semana Santa. However, you should bear in mind that these days are also a holiday for the local population; many will be traveling to tourist attractions or visiting their family in other cities. Hotels and domestic flights might be fully booked during this period.