The city of Cusco is considered one of the best destinations to visit not only for its architectural and archaeological wealth, but also for its culture, traditions and many festivities. Many national and international people are surprised when they arrive in Cusco and see that we are always in celebration; dances are always seen with colorful costumes in the different squares and streets of our city, and this month is not the exception. In March this year we celebrate the fiesta of carnival, a celebration of water, food, dance and play where culture is represented to its maximum splendor surprising all visitors who are here.

In the city of Cusco, this festivity is not a celebration of one day, but of several, it began with the day of the compadres, then the day of the comadres and on March 3 we celebrated the central day, closing these holidays next Sunday March 10 with the grand finale of carnival. Those who can not celebrate today will celebrate and we will celebrate those who do.

On carnival Sunday one should eat the typical dish that is “The T’impu”. Its preparation brings together the whole family. From very early they meet in one of the houses of the family to prepare and taste this traditional dish.

Have a dish of Puchero (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Have a dish of Puchero (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Another tradition of this festival is the cortamonte, which is organized by the board of associations or by some authority. It consists of planting a tree, which is usually eucalyptus. On it are hung many prizes such as buckets, baskets, washers plastic, blankets, shirts, sweaters, gloves, fruit etc, which are an attraction. People want to catch them when the tree falls. It cut down by people who while dancing to the carnival music cut at it with the ax. Many people who do not eat t’impu at home today, will do it in the cortamonte of the neighborhood, because this is where they prepare it in great quantity and they serve it to all those who participate dancing. They accompany it with the chicha and strawberry chicha. This event is held in the afternoon from 4:00 pm, until approximately 8:00 pm.

The colorful and joyful dances this day can be seen in the different squares of the city, as the residents organized many days in advance to dance and surprise with their performance using costumes with bright colors, decorated with ribbons and their faces peppered with colorful flour.

Young Men and Women Playing at Carnival (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Young Men and Women Playing at Carnival (Walter Coraza Morveli)

While dances are happening, children, youth and adults play. Groups throw water filled balloons and paint their faces with flour, as many as possible. This game of water is not only seen in the squares and streets but also in the houses where women face men, whoever manages to wet more.

The striking thing about this fiesta is that it is not just a celebration for the inhabitants of the city, but for all those tourists who are here at this time. They are thrilled with so much color, celebration and participate in this tradition.

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