fiestas

A Great Week of Celebrations Begins in Cusco

The great time of celebration is on us.

They city is bubbling with fervor about the pilgrimage to Qoyllur Rit’i. Many either planning to go up to the shrine on the high mountain where there is an image of Christ on a massive outcrop enclosed in a rustic church.

There is a ground for performing dances, one for camping and eating, as well as one where people play at what they want to have or be. All of this is below one of the great remaining tropical glaciers.

Beginning a Festive Week in Cusco (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Beginning a Festive Week in Cusco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

To go to Qoyllur Rit’i, tourists tend to to purchase tickets in a tour group which provides the staging, or they join the locals and go to the Coliseo Cerrado, the Enclosed Colliseum, to take a car or bus. 

They travel to Mahuallani, from where they take a several hours walk up hill to the shrine, often during the night.

While some people come back that afternoon or evening, many others stay for a more complete experience. It is said that if you one year you are obliged to continue to complete three times.

A View of Qolque Punku Glacier (Hebert Huamani Jara)
A View of Qolque Punku Glacier (Hebert Huamani Jara)

The central day of the feast is this coming Tuesday, May 24th.

On Wednesday, Cuzco will break into celebration and sound in the great celebration of Corpus Christi. The patron saint from the different traditional parishes of the city process with their faithful and with bands to the cathedral. 

From there they will come out again in a great pilgrimage, the next day,  accompanying the Sacred Host that will make a slow, majestic procession around the plaza to the sound of the Cathedral’s bells and a multiplicity of bands with the saints.

San Cristobal Saint Going out from the Catedral during Corpus Christi (Walter Coraza Morveli)
San Cristobal Saint Going out from the Catedral during Corpus Christi (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The main site for the procession is in the main plaza. Special seats can be head in the restaurant balconies for a price. Otherwise you join the crowd of spectators on the edges of the event.

You can also follow the processions to the cathedral in the morning.

Throughout the main part of the day a gastronomic festival will offer chiriuchu to the city and its visitors.  This festival is normally located by the Plaza San Francisco, two blocks from the Main Square.  It is in the heart of the day’s events.

It is marvellous to be in Cusco these days.

The Festive Dish: Chiriuchu
The Festive Dish: Chiriuchu
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