Yesterday was one of the most important events in the ritual calendar of Cuzco. It is up there with the great feast of Corpus Christi and Inti Raymi. While the first focuses on the procession of the patron saints of Cuzco’s various historic parishes to the Cathedral to commune with the sworn patron of Cuzco, the Lord of Temblors, and the second has to do with a recreation of the Inca feast of the sun following its portrayal in the historical writings of the celebrated son of immediate post conquest Cuzco, El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the Monday of Holy week, yesterday is when the mysterious and miraculous Lord of Temblors made his entrance to the city.
From early in the morning people gathered in Cuzco’s cavernous Cathedral for mass. Every one is excited. They join in singing and praying to the Cuzco’s Lord. The time passes and at 3 pm all of Cuzco stopped. People make their way to the outside of the Cathedral and fill the Plaza de Armas. They are joined by the Army Special Forces, the police, and children from certain schools.
The dramatic moment takes place when the Lord, covered in red flowers, first appears in the Cathedral doorway and makes his exit into the street. He moved slowly, born by people from various institutions who take terms carrying him. Everyone got excited and sound grew. People watched to see what course he would take and when he passed they threw red flowers on him as an offering. These flowers are called ñuqchu.
The Lord made a path to visit several of the main Churches that exist in the city’s monumental core. The Lord entered the Churches one at a time, where his clothes were changed, the batteries for the lights on the Lords palanquin and display were also changed and the red flowers, the ñuqchu was removed from him.
They say that these red flowers are blessed from being in contact with the Lord. People take them home with them to put them by the images of the saints they have at home and to drink a tea made from them which is said to cure many illnesses.
People consider the Lord of Temblors to be very miraculous and so, as he makes his way through Cuzco and back into the Cathedral, they make prayers to him so their lives can continue well.