The traditional Santurantikuy fair has been taking place in the Plaza de Armas of the City of Cusco, from December 19 to 24, the day of celebration of Christmas Eve or the day of the birth of baby Jesus, in this traditional fair the best of regional art is sold , the artists, artisans and people who sell items with Christmas motifs, are waiting for you to show you the best products made to embellish armed natives in Cusco homes. Also, you can find the best longed-for gifts to surprise this holiday season that is synonymous with sharing and celebrating with loved ones.
The name of santurantikuy, has the expression in Quechua that means “buy me a saint”, this name also refers to the commercial exchange that takes place every year during Christmas celebrations, walk inside this fair and see the religious-cultural syncretism – Christian and Andean in the works exhibited, it is a real satisfaction to understand our identity and that of our magnetic imperial city.
In years prior to the pandemic, this fair was held for only 2 days, on December 23 and 24, I remember that these days the attendance was massive, since everyone came to buy and appreciate the traditional art that is shown in the little ones spaces of this great fair.
The people arrived accompanied by their families and children, all of these were involved with the different works carried out, happy voices were heard while observing everything on display, the children telling their parents how beautiful, buy me one and the older ones showing expressions of admiration towards The art and the artist.
This 2021, the santurantikuy fair adapts to the new times because of the covid 19 and its variants, for this the president Fernado Santoyo of the Municipal Company of Celebrations (EMUFEC) pronounced saying that these 6 days of the fair are established to avoid the agglomeration and slum in the center of the city, the Christmas fairs will be decentralized, therefore, the districts will enable strategic spaces in order to exercise greater control over the movement of people. All of this extends the possibilities for attendees to buy, considering various points, hours and days.
Within the traditional Santurantikuy 2021 Fair, 1,150 stands were installed that fill the entire main square of Cusco, only a small space in the center of the square was freed so that young artists can develop these days, demonstrative workshops of contemporary art to those In the eyes of the audience, this fair undoubtedly shows the best artists and their most precious works made for this great occasion, you can see works in silver, ceramics, textiles, wood carvings, among others.
The Cusqueños nativity scenes are armed in small mangers, where they are decorated with the natural flora that our mother earth provides us in our Andean region, the people who bring these ornaments live and have a connection with the countryside. Only for these days they are present in the city offering their products.
The decorations that are also acquired, on these dates of celebration, are the animals of all species and any miniature that adorns the birth, one of the images that represents this traditional fair is the baby Jesus in his manger, together with his parents and the wise men, all this in different sizes, colors and styles, these artisans have inherited art in many of its expressions.
On December 24, the traditional contest will be held where the EMUFEC recognizes and rewards the work of the artists with the “Santurantikuy Medal” that is awarded each year to a representative artist of the fair, the recognition is in charge of the specialized jury made up of representatives of the School of Fine Arts of Cusco, the American Institute of art Cusco and the municipality of Cusco, the artisan pieces presented in various categories and exclusively for the fair will be qualified. The winners will be awarded in a public ceremony where the mayor of Cusco Víctor Boluarte Medina, will deliver the Santurantikuy 2021 Medal.
To enter the fair, 7 entrances were installed, where people can only enter if they have a double chinstrap and comply with the 2 doses of vaccination, within the fair all traders are seen with protection measures against this pandemic, the PNP and the Municipal Police guard this fair, in the place they have their own tent from where they provide the corresponding surveillance. The artists and merchants attend from 7 in the morning to 10 at night, and afterwards everything is seen in silence.
The artisans leave their hearts in their works and everything is sold at affordable prices for the pocket of the audience.