From September 28th through the 2nd of October the District of San Jerónimo celebrates its patron saint’s feasts. It is a celebration wo which thousands of people come including tourists and local residents. It is a week of great activity and joy, filled with colorful dances, tasty and abundant food that pleases with its traditional flavors, bands that will get everyone up and dancing, and especially faith and devotion to the Patron, Saint Jerome.
The fiesta is fascinating from its beginning, a great serenade where all present dance to the rhythm of traditional dances in the main square of the town. People also light firework castles in amazing colors that make a spectacle and people enjoy them greatly. Around 23 dance troupes make their way, for about an hour, through the colonial streets of this traditional district.
Today is the central day, an exciting one. The streets are completely full and music is heard all over exciting and enlivening all who come. The Patron St. Jerome makes his entrance and procession around the main square and the same time he gives blessings to his faithful devotees. He is accompanied in his path by lively dance troupes.
On the other hand, the 28th was when people thoroughly enjoyed a delicious chiriuchu, the signature dish of the feast. The traditional mamachas, dressed in colorful clothing with white hats and broad colorful ribbons are who sell this traditional dish. It costs around 15 soles. Today, I was able to try this succulent and delicious dish. It was completely delicious. As my casera (vendor) said: “If you do not eat chiriuchu you do not know the fiestas of Saint Jerome.”
Tomorrow, the fiesta continues. It is when the troupes of dancers visit with their dead. They cerry out great fiestas in the cemetery of Saint Jerome: abundant food, fiesta, music, and encounter between the living and dead celebrated with energy and joy.
Sunday is the Kacharpari, a Quechua, Runasimi, word that means the end of the feast. It is a strong day of celebration. At the same time, you see dances and gastronomy all to a strong rhythm to make a great farewell.
To be from Cusco is to live a latent and living culture where all year long youexperience the fiestas with great sound and happiness, as well as traditional representations of our ancestral culture.
Scroll down to see the pictures from today’s celebration.