Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

02 Feb
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Thursday February 02, 2017 - Posted by to Events and Festivals, Peru Travel

Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

This upcoming weekend, the activities of the Festival de la Candeleria of Puno will start again. La Candelaria is Peru’s biggest folcloric Festival and it’s a very important event in southern Peru.

La Candelaria takes place every year in February, in Puno, to honor La Virgen of Candelaria, the patron saint of the city. Attending this big colorful event is a great opportunity for travelers in Peru to visit the city of Puno and make a trip to Lake Titicaca – at the Peruvian/ Bolivian border in Southeastern part of Peru. A tour on Lake Titicaca includes a visit to the floating Urus Islands and, if you wish, an overnight with a local Peruvian family on the islands of Taquile or Amantani.


The Festival La Candelaria will be bigger then ever before in 2017: over 100,000 dancers and over 40,000 musicians are expected to participate! This is a result of the Festivity of Virgen de La Candelaria of Puno being recognized by the UNESCO in November 2014.

Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

 

The festival is now included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity. So is the Bolivian version of the festival: La Candelaria is not only celebrated in Peru but also in Bolivia – mainly in the town of Copacabana – and in Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Over 40,000 visitors are expected and the Municipality of Puno is prepared in case of a hotel deficit: many local houses are ready to receive both local and international tourists arriving in Puno.

La Candelaria, that celebrated the 50th birthday of het celebration in 2014, includes religious, festive and cultural activities, all based on both the Catholocism – brought by the Spaniards in the 15th century – and the traditional, Andean beliefs and traditions of the Puno region.

Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

 

The mixture of Christian and pagan can be seen clearly during the activities. Other names for La Virgen de Candelaria are Mamacha Candelaria, Mamita Canticha, and MamáCandi.
The festival consists of a Regional Dance Contest with native music, costumes and masks, that takes place in the Enrique Torre Bellon Stadium in Puno. Some of the best known dances that will be observed during the Dance Contest is The Diablada, a dance that symbolizes – again – the fusion of the Peruvian indigenous and the Spanish culture of the conquistadores. You need to pay a modest entrance fee to enter the stadium.

Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

 

A second, important part of the Candelaria events is the great Folk Parade. This Parade takes place on the streets of Puno. Not only the dance and the music, but also the masks and the costums are very important here. The costums and the dances express aspects of daily life of the Andean people of Southern Peru such as weaving, harvesting, planting or hunting as well as the mining activities of the Puno region. During the paredes on the streets the visitors will not only see many professional dancers but also many local Peruvian people that participate and dance to show their devotion to honor their virgen. As the local people always say: during the festival, we are all equal.
Housewives, doctors, rich and poor…men, woman, children. all believe in the Virgen and dance to honor and thank her for her blessings.

Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

 

The Feast closes with an important ceremony of the Virgen of La Candelaria and a big parade, a concert of musical bands an groups of panpipe players and farewell masses.

 


If you are interesting in visiting the Festival of la Candelaria and want to join our group leaving from Cusco, please contact us.

 

One thought on “Travelers in Peru are preparing for La Candelaria Festival in Puno

  1. This is awesome! I love Peru, and I can’t wait to check out some of these cool spots when I go back in Next.

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