Holy Week in Ayacucho: the biggest religious festival in Peru

Holy Week in Ayacucho: the biggest religious festival in Peru
Wednesday March 16, 2016
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With the anticipation of Holy Week, the Andean city of Ayacucho prepares for its annual celebrations. Huge structures are built, blankets of flowers are arranged, candlelit processions are organized, dances are choreographed, and bulls are prepped.

Ayacucho is rich in history and is perfect for the celebrations of Holy Week. It has 33 churches, which represent each year of Jesus Crist´s life on earth. It boasts cobble-stoned streets, beautiful architecture from colonial times, and a past tainted by the Shining Path era. All of these things come to light during the Holy Week festivities.

For 10 straight days, Ayacucho is painted with celebrations. Beginning this year on March 20th, a parade for the Lady of Sorrows initiates Holy Week. Sometimes participants can be seen launching little pebbles out of slingshots to symbolize the act of inflicting sorrows on others.

Other events during Holy Week include the recreation of Crist´s arrival to Jerusalem and the moment when Jesus and the Virgin Mary meet.

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