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Peruvian Holidays - When, Where and What They Are
There are approximately 3,000 Peruvian holidays and festivals
celebrated each year.
Among other holidays, Peru celebrates the widely
known holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day,
Easter, Christmas and New Years, but most of the celebrations are for a
particular saint. Most of these saints are a combination of Catholic
and Andean religious traditions.
The typical work-week in Peru lasts for six days, which is
probably one of the reasons why there are so many Peruvian holidays.
Many Peruvians get the day off on a holiday, called feriado, which is
spent drinking one of Peru's top beers: cristal, cusqueÃ±a or pilsen.
Most Peruvians love to drink. They'll treat personal
celebrations and events with as much fervor as national holidays.
Drinks are passed around on birthdays, family and friend gatherings,
baptisms, sporting events, weddings, baby showers and even at funerals!
It is very common to find fiestas throughout Peru accompanied by not
only drinks, but traditional and modern dances.
When planning a vacation to Peru you may wish to include
Peruvian holidays in your itinerary. There are Peruvian holidays and
festivals throughout the year, with those in June and July in Cuzco
being the most popular with tourists.
January - Peruvian Holidays
Of course New Year is celebrated in Peru, especially as it is
one of the Peruvian holidays that provides an excellent opportunity to
The party starts on December 31st with rounds of beer and lots
At the stroke of midnight there is champagne and a toast,
accompanied by hugs and goodwill. Twelve grapes are eaten by each
person, one for each month of the year, with a secret wish.
Then the fireworks start and the beer drinking begins anew for most of
February Holidays Peru
For eighteen days Puno
celebrates the Fiesta de la Virgen
Hundreds of groups of musicians and dancers accompany
huge amounts of food and fireworks on February 2nd when a procession
carries the virgin image through the city.
The dance of the demons has
dancers wearing devil masks make offerings to Pachamama
Goddess. For the farewell the dancers are followed into the cemetery to
pay homage to the dead.
Carnival is a National holiday celebrated for the entire month
This is when people get wet, really wet.
themselves with squirt guns, water balloons and buckets of water with
the goal to get as many people wet as possible.
In most places it is
illegal to celebrate carnival on weekdays, as people going to work
complain to the government about getting soaked.
especially enthusiastic about carnival, organizing several activities
for Peruvian holidays during two weeks in February.
hosts the International Festival of Adventure
People from all over the world come to see and participate in
kayaking, rock wall climbing, paragliding and other adventure or
outdoor sports. The festival's dates change, but it is always held in
|Peruvian Holidays - Fiesta
de la Virgen del Carmen
March - April Holidays
For March or April holidays, Peru's are centered around Semana
, or Holy Week, which generally begins on the Thursday before
Easter Sunday and continues through Easter.
Traditionally, drinking is
shunned during Semana Santa except for wine, and meat should not be
eaten except for fish. Several stores will not sell alcohol on these
four days, but many Peruvians still find a way to drink, especially on
Saturday and Easter Sunday.
There are Holy Week processions in most
Peruvian cities starting from the Plaza de Armas
hosts the most famous Semana Santa celebrations which
the Friday before Palm Sunday.
In Ayacucho it is traditionally believed
that Christ is dead during the week until Easter Sunday, therefore sin
does not exist during that time.
celebrates the Lord of the Earthquakes
which blends Christian and Andean traditions.
The Procession is to pay
homage to Taitacha Temblores
, as it is believed that an oil
Christ stopped an earthquake in the year 1650.
May Holidays Peru
On the 1st of May el Dia de los Trabajadores
(Labor Day) is
celebrated Nationally by taking the day off from work and drinking.
From the 2nd to the 4th Puno
holds the Alarcitas
Handicrafts Fair Dia
de Santa Cruz
. At this time hundreds of sellers gather together to
thousands of handmade items like alpaca wool sweaters, jewelry,
paintings, tapestries, wood crafts and scores of imaginative items from
Peru and Bolivia.
June Holidays Peru
This month is when Peruvian holidays really start to pick up.
is a national holiday which has basically been
over by Cuzco
. Hundreds of people crowd around the Plaza de
see several Processions including the Processions of the Saints and of
the Virgins accompanied by dancers in various traditional dress.
celebrates the Inca Sun God
on June 24th.
early in the day at Koricancha
(the Temple of the Sun) and the
Armas in Cuzco city, the celebration then moves to the Incan
structure at about noon.
Thousands of people gather to see
the recreation of an ancient Inca celebration of dances and worship to
the Sun God in which two llamas are sacrificed. The best Inti Raymi tour
July Holidays Peru
In the town of Paucartambo
, just a few hours from Cuzco, La
Virgen del Carmen
is celebrated for five days, with it's main day
July 16th. Traditional dances, costumes and homage to the dead are
July 28th to the 29th marks Peru's Independence Day
calls for more drinking and fireworks across the country.
water fountain at the Plaza de Armas in Lima
is filled by the
Municipality with 2,000 liters of the alcoholic drink Pisco for
everyone to enjoy for free.
is especially crowded during most of June and July to
celebrate. There are several Peruvian holidays in Cuzco with
processions. Artisans lay out their handicrafts, street vendors sell a
huge assortment of food and bands make live performances.
times Cuzco gets so crowded that it can be difficult to walk just a
couple of blocks.
August Holidays Peru
In the seventeenth-century a Lima resident named Isabel Flores
earned fame for caring for the sick and shunning sin.
searching for a miracle visit her shrine in downtown Lima.
festival, El Dia de Santa Rosa de Lima
, is celebrated on August
throughout the country, especially in Santa Rosa de Quives
department of Lima.
September Holidays Peru
From the 22nd to the 25th Juliaca
celebrates Nuestra SeÃ±ora
in honor of the town's Saint Patroness in which fairs,
dances and folk acts are held.
organizes the International Spring Festival
4th week of September. Once again, there are drinking, folk shows and
dancing, but this time there are visits from American and European
Bullfighting and the Peruvian Stepping Horses contests
are also held.
October Holidays Peru
On October 8, 1879 a naval battle was fought between Peru and
Chili. This National holiday is remembered as the Combate Naval de
From the 18th to the 28th is El SeÃ±or de los Milagros
Lord of Miracles), the most important of all the Peruvian holidays in
This is largely a procession in honor of a slave from Angola
who drew the image of a black Christ in Pachacamilla
Although there had been several attempts to erase it, the image
stubbornly stayed on the wall.
Tens of thousands participate in the
procession every year. Believers carry two tons of remains that bore
the painting and walk for twenty-four hours starting from the church
, through downtown Lima, and finally to the church La
Marced in Barrios Altos
Bullfighting season also starts in October to
commemorate The Lord of Miracles.
La Noche de Las Brujas
, or Halloween, is loosely celebrated on
October 31st. Some attention is paid to trick-or-treating for the
<3>November Holidays Peru
All Saints Day is celebrated on the first, with All Souls Day
following on the second.
Peruvians may attend mass and visit cemeteries
in memory of the dead, especially loved ones.
, the folkloric center of Peru, has many Peruvian
It's founding is celebrated on the 4th and 5th called Puno
Days. There are military parades, drinking and dancing.
A procession of
masked dancers celebrate the Inca legend of when Manco Capac
king of Cuzco, and his sister and wife Mama Occlo
, rose out of Lake
December Holidays Peru
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception
on the 8th is
celebrated by two of the things that Peruvians love most - great food
and lots of beer.
Christmas celebrations begin on the 24th when the
drinking starts. At midnight the official party begins, sometimes gifts
will be exchanged, but there will always be a round of champagne.