Passion and color: the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru

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March 07, 2022 14:00 Korea Standard Time
  • Passion and color: the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru

    Passion and color: the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru

LIMA, PERU--(Business Wire / Korea Newswire)--The Peruvian culture celebrates one of its most important religious traditions in February: the Day of the Virgin Mary of Candelaria, as reported by the Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exports and Tourism (PROMPERÚ).

The origin of this important festival is in the south of the country, in the region of Puno. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire also consisted of the presence of the Catholic Church, which preached the worship of the Virgin Mary.

Furthermore, the date of the Candelaria celebration is associated with the celebratory practices of a pre-Hispanic agricultural ritual calendar. Thus, Catholic traditions and symbolic elements of the Andean world view come together in the form of masses held in honor of the “Mamita de la Candelaria”, as the Puno's people call her, with the traditional procession of her image, and a colorful procession of typical dances and costumes from the region.

The communities of dancers of the Aymara and Quechua ethnic groups that take part in this festival perform to impressive choreographies, displaying costumes made with different materials that reflect the ancestral cultural wealth of Peru's native people.

For its part, the music that accompanies the dance performances is played with Andean instruments that transmit the unique beauty that characterizes Andean melodies, while the troupes of participating dancers make their way through the main streets of the city, cheered on by the large crowds that gather along the sides of the route of this popular festival. It attracts thousands of local and foreign followers and tourists each year, who all come to the city to witness the activities in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria.

Visiting Puno for this iconic festival provides an excellent opportunity to discover its diverse range of tourist attractions, such as the legendary Lake Titicaca and the Aymara communities that live in its floating islands, the archaeological site of Sillustani and the island of Taquile, where the Quechuan men weave beautiful ancestral textiles.

In the last two years, the physical celebratory events were suspended due to health and safety protocols, but this in no way diminished any of the passion, faith and devotion in honor of an extraordinary cultural and religious parade that is rooted in the identity of Puno and Peru, and which will once again bring together people from all over the world when travel conditions allow for it.


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José Carlos Collazos

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