Celebrating Semana Santa in Cusco, Peru
Semana Santa or Holy Week is one of the celebrations you do not want to miss whenever you travel to Cusco, Peru. Cusco has a unique way of remembering this very important time of year. Semana Santa takes place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It celebrates the week of Jesus´ death, burial and resurrection. While Cusco observes many of the same traditions as many other Latin American countries during this week, it also has its own customs.
On Monday, Cusco honors its city´s patron, El Señor de los Temblores or Lord of the Earthquakes . This patron is extremely important to the people of Cusco because of their belief that this statue of Christ calmed an earthquake in 1650. As the statue was being removed from the church to protect it, the earthquake stopped. From that point on the statue was called Señor de los Temblores. During the procession, the dark image is dressed in nice clothing and decorated in ñucchu flowers, which are said to symbolize the blood of Christ. As it goes through the main streets of Cusco, the people toss the ñucchu flowers at the image.
On Thursday the local people from Cusco prepare twelve dishes, as it is the day of Jesus´ last supper. Nevertheless, some people only eat eight or nine and they may also prepare them on Good Friday. The foods usually include common foods such as, grains, potatoes, corn, and sweet desserts. Although, none of them include any meat except for fish, following the Catholic prohibition to eat red meat during Lent. The people from Cusco look forward to this week and use it as a time to remember their faith and to spend time with family.
Semana Santa in Peru is an extremely popular event and tourists from all over the world come to celebrate and experience Holy Week in Peru, especially in the cities of Ayacucho and Cusco. Come to Peru to experience the faith, the living traditions and the history for yourself.
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