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Cusco Holidays

Cusco, the capital city of Tahuantinsuyo and the center of the Incan world, will show us the most cutural heritage through its traditions. Discover with us the most important Cusco Holidays, a real mixture of 2 cultures. Cusco has been greatly influenced by the Spanish conquistadors and their religious traditions. Even more, the Cusco of 2019 has also been exposed to modern living. All of these influences have been reflected in Cusco’s yearly festivals. Festivals in Cusco range from Incan winter solstice ceremonies to Easter processions to The Cusqueñan Beer Festival. The festivals´ calendar celebrates the past and the present, religious customs and traditions and indigenous living. No matter what time of year you visit Cusco, you´ll surely encounter a feast! 

 

Festival of the crosses:

Let´s start with the month of may, worldwide known as the month of the mothers, but in Cusco city and surrounds is the month in which is celebrated the most religious and traditional feast called "Festival of the Crosses" Its name? Cruz Velacuy. 

 

How is this tradition born?

 

When the Spaniards arrived in Cusco, one of the first Catholic elements used very effectively was the Cross, in the case of the Tawantinsuyo, the crosses were located in various places and sacred sites, which were dwellings or shrines of the Andean gods, Being a symbol of good against evil, it is present everywhere and at all times, permanently deserving spiritual invocation and external celebration on different occasions.

 

This party originates in the first decades of the 18th century. When at that time it was a relatively humble and / or modest private family holiday without the greatness that it has today. The cross is a symbol of Christianity in the same way for Catholics is the representation of the passion of Jesus Christ, after the Spanish conquest, the cross was one of the elements of struggle and ideological quarrel to evangelize the Americans and also to facilitate to its submission, thus its adoration and its use were obligatory in the new world, the "extirpators of idolatries" (catholic priests) when destroying their Inca sanctuaries (Inca idols) took much care in placing crosses in their place.

 

And what about this celebration today?

Nowadays, Cusco city is a catholic city that celebrate the feast of the crosses every May 2, and if you are lucky of been in Cusco during this day, you will see the traditional worship of the Holy Cross. The celebration of the cross usually has a butler or "carguyoq" the person who voluntarily agreed to organize and pay for most of the expenses for the celebration, who is almost always a person with resources and owner of a house where an altar will be built to the cross. 

 

Where can we see the celebration?

Cruz-Velacuy-Cusco

Dances:

During the celebration, many traditional dances are performed dances as " Carnaval Cusqueño" or "Mestiza Qoyacha. Let´s see more about this traditional cusquenian dances:

  • Cusquenian Carnival: The Cusco carnival is a mestizo dance of varied choreography and colorful clothing, where women and men sing joyful songs alluding to the game and coquetry.
  • Mestiza Qoyacha: The Mestiza Qoyacha dance is the only mixed dance involving young couples, usually singles, they represent the mestizo joy of young people with love purposes from which new marriages are born, the characters are a "qoyacha" and a "huayna". Qoyacha is translated as "queen".a really masterpiece of traditional dances.
  • Chunchachas: It is one of the youngest dances that reappeared after 90 years, its costumes consist of a crown of amazons, with its hair, a breastplate that represents the Virgin, two "ch'uspas that serve to carry their wayruros (a lucky element), a suitable dress in which he carries a chonta and the sinehon giving a unique colors. 

Also you can appreciate this typical dances in different Cusco Festivals as Cusco's Day, Torrechayoq, Qoyllor Rit'y Ritual Feast or Paucartambo Festival.

Carnival-Cusco-Peru Mestiza-Qoyacha-Dance Chunchachas-Peru



 

 

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