La Candelaria is upon us
Every year Puno – the Andean city next to lake Titicaca in Southern Peru- celebrates its patron saint, the Virgen de la Candelaria. Each day, the festivities begin in the Enrique Torres Belon Stadium and eventually continue out onto the streets late at night. There are four very important days for this celebration: Sunday, January 31st, Tuesday, February 2nd, Sunday, February 7th, and Monday, February 8th 2016.
Last Sunday, the 52nd edition of the contest of dances begun at 7:00 am. The beautiful choreography and colorful outfits of the dancers made for a special opening day at Candelaria.
Tuesday Feb 2nd is the more focused religious day of the festivities. Mass takes place in the main square of Puno, and then the image of the Virgen de la Candelaria is paraded through the streets, arriving in its original location later at night.
But the really big events take place this upcoming weekend, mainly February 7th and Monday February 8th. During this week, many travelers in Peru will make sure to head down to Puno, to not miss the colorful events of La Candelaria.
Sunday exhibits a grand event in the stadium, during which various folk dances are presented. Dances are danced to a rhythm of metal instruments that can be heard all across the city of Puno. These powerful instruments and the dancers´ special dresses make this day very unique.
Monday the 8th of February will be the most important and significant day you do not want to miss, with more dances and reverence. Dances are performed along a route that is 3-4 kilometers long, and participants end at the image of the Virgen de la Candelaria, where they give flowers as offerings and bow down in worship.
This special celebration is a beautiful expression of Peruvian celebration and religion. Observing the exciting festivities, vibrant colors, and joyous people of Puno reminds both local people and tourists of the rich and dynamic culture of Peru.
Recomedation! Combine your visit to la Candelaria with tours in Puno and on Lake Titicaca.