Corpus Christi in Cusco: A Festival so full of History that you need read this in order to know why you can´t miss it!
Corpus Christi is a very colorful and traditional ceremony, it is the fascinating story about Peru´s indigenous origins mixing with the traditions of the Spanish conquistadores.
For the Travelers in Peru an excellent opportunity to taste Peruvian traditional culture real close and to obtain an insight on cultural traditions in Cusco and Peru. Observe the procession and travel back in time: imagine what it would have been like to see the ancient Inca proceeding along their great temples in the streets of the old Cusco! If you want to witness an authentic demonstration of the beautiful Peruvian Culture – you should not miss out on the parade and events of Corpus Christi!
The colorful parade on the main day takes places at around 11:00am. The Plaza de Armas will be crowded with people to see the saints, which, after seven days (el octavo), will participate in the procession again before going back to their places where they will remain for the rest of the year.
But also if you are not a Christian person, you should not miss out on this historic festival! The night before the main day of Corpus Christi is very important as the twelve typical dishes are prepared, including cuy chiriuchu, beer, chicha and bread. On this special day you can eat yourself through the impressive variety of traditional Peruvian food!
Want to know a bit more about the history of Corpus Christi?
Before the Spanish arrived, the Inca had been paying tribute to their worshipped figures on the occasion of special dates in their culture. When the Spaniards then reached the Inca Capital Cusco, they were surprised to learn that the Inca, the Children of the Sun, carried out “their saints” in large processions. Determined to abolish these pagan festivals, the Spanish decided to enforce a simple solution: replace the mummies worshipped by the Incas with images of the Virgin and the Catholic saints!
Being celebrated until today, Corpus Christi is a colorful and traditional ceremony and a wonderful opportunity for visitors to take part in an historic festival. Thousands of faithful believers and visitors of the event fill the streets of Cusco every year for this celebration of Corpus Christi and witness the colorful parade through the charming alleys of the historic center. This year, the event is taking place starting from the 25th of May 2016.
For believers, this folkloric event represents fifteen saints and virgins, organized in several processions, arriving from different places to the Cathedral of Cusco in order to “greet” the body of Christ, sixty days after Easter Sunday. The celebration of Corpus Christi used to be celebrated in the whole country, but the Fiesta is most impressive in Cusco, the former Inca Capital. During this special day you can hear the sounds of the María Angola, the biggest Church Bell of Peru, built during XVI century by Diego Arias de la Cerda.
Keep in mind during the Festival of Corpus Christi:
- The day of Corpus Christi is a national holiday in Peru. If you are planning to pick up your laundry or need to go shopping: small shops are very likely to be closed!
- It will get crowed in the Streets of Cusco! Please make sure to watch your belongings in the crowds and don´t take valuable items with you – this way you will have a relaxed experience of the beautiful folkloric festival!