celebration, Customs, fiestas

The Kasaracuy, an Ancestral Tradition in the Andean World

A Toast to Their Marriage

In spite of time, changes, and religion, in some communities of the city of Cusco and Paucartambo, ceremonies and traditions that the grandparents and their grandparents carried out continue. One of them is the ceremony of the Kasaracuy, that in our Quechua language means “Marriage”.

This traditional ceremony consists of marrying the couple though not in the religious way we know, but in an ancestral way with traditions of the countryside, traditions that have been maintained from generation to generation and that are still maintained today.

The Kasaracuy takes place in the month of August, a month that coincides with the month of the Pachamama and the beginning of the year in the Andean world. This ceremony lasts two days,
but before it used to last up to a week.

The Kasaracuy arrives as a result of the couple’s courtships. They take place in the field, the farm or while herding. Here people have their first glances and, as a game, the first kisses and hugs arrive. They are formalized during the Kasaracuy.

In this ceremony the whole community participates. The parents of the bride and groom are in charge of the decorations. The bride and groom choose their godparents who are usually the closest relatives, Each family, that of the bride and groom, prepares food and the chicha that they will serve after the ceremony. These are usually: baked cuy, corn omelets , lawa or cream of chuño, tarwi with lake weed, etc. They also eat boiled corn called mote as well as the always present “chicha de jora”.

Guinea Pig (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Guinea Pig (Walter Coraza Morveli)

During the ceremony both young people are dressed in their typical costumes, with colorful embroidery, the man with his inevitable Poncho and his chullo and the woman with her skirt and jacket, her hair well collected with a braid and adorned with ribbons and flowers of color yellow, a sign of good omen and prosperity.

To the sound of the traditional music “el Huayno” and the dances, during the Kasaracuy another tradition is carried out, the “Paltaskay” It consists of placing money in the clothes of the newly married couple. All the guests do it and in the end people take account how much money the woman and the man collected because they have the belief that if the woman collected more money, prosperity will come for the couple, but if on the contrary the man collected more, it is a sign of bad luck. To counteract this, other ceremonies will be held that we will talk about in another article.

La Banda esperando para Tocar (Walter Coraza Morveli)
La Banda esperando para Tocar (Walter Coraza Morveli)

In beautiful to see how these traditions are maintained through time. Hopefully they are never lost because they are part of our identity and our culture.

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