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How are carnivals celebrated in Peru?

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Home » Festividades del Perú » How are carnivals celebrated in Peru?
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Carnivals is a festive time throughout Peru. A great celebration that is actually the result of festivities brought by the European conquerors and fused with our local traditions.

There are written records from the XIX century when it is highlighted that the carnivals were already a great event in Peru and specifically in Lima, where the game with perfumed water, colored powder, streamers and colored confetti began. At the beginning of the 20th century, the carnival was already considered a party of great relevance and part of the cultural identity of the Peruvians.

It is currently a great celebration that takes place throughout the country, each region adds its own cultural factors making carnivals are different in each part of Peru, enjoy this colorful party with water, talcum powder and streamers.

Peru's most important carnivals

Carnival in Cusco

Carnavales Cusco
Carnavales Cusco Foto: LuisCastilloPhotografia

The celebration of the carnivals in the city of Cusco are varied depending on the provinces, in each place a ''Yunza'' tree is raised which is decorated with streamers, balloons and gifts.

During this festivity the tradition is to dance around the tree all with their typical costumes, while they pass an axe from couple to couple, whoever manages to knock down the tree will then be the new carguyoc, who will be responsible for the celebration of the carnivals next year.

It is important to note that during the party attendees play with water balloons, foam and colored talcum powder, so you should be forewarned.

Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria

Carnavales En Puno
Carnivals In Puno Photo: Udri

The festival of the candelaria in the month of February also coincides with the celebration of the carnival festival in the city of Puno. They gather large groups of dancers and musicians, making a great artistic display that leaves more than one amazed.

The feeling of faith and adoration of the Puno population in honor of this saint, is so great, that many make trips from more distant parts of Peru, who return to Puno just to worship the Mamacha Candelaria; these acts make the feast of Candlemas, one of the largest and most prominent of Peru.

Virgen De La Candelaria Puno
Virgin Of The Candelaria Puno

Carnival of Cajamarca

Carnavales En Cajamarca
Carnivals In Cajamarca

Cajamarca is also known as the capital of the Peruvian Carnival, since the celebration lasts several days and there are different activities that take place during those days.

The celebration begins with the arrival of the King Momo or Ño Carnavalón, which is a cheerful and colorful character associated to the devil, because he tempts the cajamarquinos to fall in the excess, of drinks, food, dances and songs, being seduced finally to join all in this great celebration.

The carnival in Cajamarca lasts 5 days, where everyone mingles with the dancers, bathed in water and colored talcum powder, tasting the most emblematic dishes of Cajamarca.

The celebration comes to an end when King Momo is burned, representing the punishment he receives for causing the lack of control and excesses in the population, his ashes are thrown into the river, not as a goodbye, but as a promise of his return next year.

Carnaval Cajamarca
Cajamarca Carnival Photo@s0__00013_2_0

Carnival in Arequipa

Carnaval Arequipeno
Arequipa Carnival

The celebration of the carnivals in the white city of Arequipa, are held during the last week of February, with multiple water games, you will notice that in Arequipa not only balloons are used but also eggs filled with water and paints, as well as the inevitable streamers and colorful confetti.

Among the main activities that take place are the corsos and the election of the Arequipa Carnival Queen, during the festivities, it is also remarkable the spectacular cuisine of Arequipa, highlighting the Rocotos Rellenos, chupe de Camarones, potato souffle and many more.

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