Customs

Sweets and Palms in Cuzco on Palm Sunday

Olive Branches and Rosemary for Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday and with it begins Holy Week. Though strongly based in its indigenous past, Cuzco is also strongly Catholic and for the Catholic faithful today begins the most important religious feast of the year. They celebrate with full faith and fervor.

From very early in the morning thousands of people come to the main square, to the Cathedral to be part of the mass and the blessing of the Palm fronds.

Each one of the faithful carries their fronds. Other take crosses of chonta and garlic as well as small images of the Lord of Temblors. They take them to mass to have them blessed and then they take them into their homes to put them behind the door or to simply hang them on the walls as a symbol of good augeries and faith.

Carrying a Palm Frond to be Blessed
Carrying a Palm Frond to be Blessed

These fronds are sold in the streets and the markets of Cuzco. They are also sold in the door of the church that same day.

Three masses will be held today so that all might participate and have their palm fronds blessed.

But that is not all the celebration. Today in the streets of Cuzco begins a gastronomic event, the sale of the sweets and desserts of Holy Week. The streets fill with sweet colors, such as those of the special Holy Week empanada, the sighs (suspiros or meringues), some corn cookies (maicillos), among others.

Sighs (Meringues)
Sighs (Meringues)

This religious feast, with its connection between food and holiness will draw thousands of persons to the main square, among the locals and the tourists. They come to be part of this great celebration with its traditions and faith.

Red Flowers and Crosses for Sale
Red Flowers and Crosses for Sale
Saint Francis Processing around the Main Square to Begin Holy Week
Saint Francis Processing around the Main Square to Begin Holy Week
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