Customs

The Pilgrimage for Good Friday

On Holy Thursday begins what we call the recorrido (which is a path in remembrance, kind of like a pilgrimage). It begins with the washing of feet and a visit to the seven churches of the city such as the Compañía de Jesus, San Blas, San Fransisco, San Pedro, Santa Clara, La Merced, and the Cathedral. People visit them to observe the monuments that are put together in them and which remain until late at night.

Early on Good Friday people begin to walk up the close hills to their crosses. One that is well known is the path up Sacsayhuaman to the White Christ. The cross that is carried up, a mobile cross is the Cross of Tetecaca. People gather for this in the closest church that is the Recoleta.

The faithful are very emotional. Youths and adults go up singing, praying, and remembering the words that accompany all the Stations of the Cross. The recite them out loud as the pass each station where the Cross of Tetecaca stops.

Other faithful climb up the hills wherever there is a cross. They do it in the same way, singing and praying. Others carry candles and place them, while praying, close to where the crosses are found.

Since we have now entered the time of frost in Cuzco, it is very important to bundle up so that the cold will not make you sick. This pilgrimage is very important for the people who are close to the church and all its activities.

After this path, the Cross is placed standing. At that time, the priest, holding a whip we call San Martín, invites people to receive the blows that Jesus suffered and afterwards everyone goes home to spend the rest of Good Friday with their families.

Every year, on television, special movies for Holy Week are shown, such as Ben Hur. These entertain the families as they rest.

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