Cuzco in Peru, close to the Urubamba Valley of the Andes, has remained a favorite tourist destination for many years. The historical significance of the site as the capital of the Inca Civilization has been acknowledged by the declaration of Cuzco as a World Heritage Center by UNESCO in 1983. An astounding 2 million people visit the place from every corner of the world. after a major earthquake in 1950, the city was thoroughly wrecked. However, from the 1990’s it has become a focal point of tourists.
Important Indigenous Festivals of Cuzco
If you are visiting Peru from March to July, you must not miss the many festivals of Cuzco, which are celebrated with great fervor and zeal during this time of the year. The indigenous festivals mingle with the somber and religious Catholic festivals and bring to the city a unique appearance and mood with a lot of festivities. The people clothe themselves in traditional dresses which are so colorful that they seem to intoxicate you fully, and you are sure to get carried away in their enthusiasm. The local people present traditional dance forms, that are of great academic interests to major dance choreographers and also bring to you immense fun and enjoyment. The use of wild masks and adornments keep you dazed for the entire stay.
Celebrations in honor of El Senor de los Temblores
This festival is celebrated in March, to pay homage to El Senor de los Temblores, the God of the Earthquakes. The earthquake shattered city worships this lord as the city’s patron saint. This festival is held on the Monday prior to the Easter Monday. This is essentially a religious catholic festival started way back in 1650. The lord is taken out from the chapel and borne through the streets of Cuzco with lots of decorations along the roads. The Cristo in black is followed by thousands of local people who pay their homage with tears in their eyes.
Winter Solstice Celebrations of the Incas – Inti Raymi
This festival is said to be the biggest celebration of Cuzco and is celebrated on June 24. It is locally called the Inti Raymi which depicts the “return of the sun”. The celebrations begin with the local people dressed up extravagantly with costumes to represent people of all social strata of the Inca Civilization. The rituals are carried out in Quechua, the Inca language that is still in wide use.