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Virgen del Carmen
Traditional Festivities in Peru

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Location
: Paucartambo (Cusco)
Date: June 15-16.

Four hours from Cusco, in the town of Paucartambo, thousands of devotees hold festivals in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, known locally as Mamacha Carmen, patron saint of the mestizo population. The gathering, that raises the curtain on these days of celebrations is held in the main square, where troupes of musicians play their instruments while richly dressed choirs sing in Quechua.

The setting gives way to a series of ingenious choreographies that portray events in Peruvian history. For five days, dance companies in various costumes (Doctorcitos, Waca Waca, Sarjas) take to the streets to accompany the Mamacha throughout the entire procession through the main square, the church and the city streets.

On the main day, the virgin is borne aloft in a procession to bless those present and scare away demons. The dancers take to the housetops, performing daring gymnastics, showing off their colorful Inca and colonial garb. At the end of the procession, war is waged on the demons, from which the faithful emerge in triumph.

Finally, the gathering ends up in the cemetery to render homage to the souls of the dead.


Information about the Department of Cusco

Cusco City
Cusco Facts
Cusco, the Land of the Incas
Aguas Calientes
Sacred Valley of Urubamba
Korikancha Temple
Sacsayhuaman Fortress
Terracing of Moray
Ollantaytambo
Tambomachay and Qenqo
Pisac Town and Markets
Andahuaylillas Church
MachuPicchu Sanctuary
Manu National Park
The Salkantay Loop
Inca Trail to MachuPicchu
Entrega de Varas Festival
Qoyllur Riti Festival
Corpus Christi Festival
Inti Raymi Festival
Map of Cusco
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Machu Picchu Hotels and Hostels
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Other Peruvian Traditional Festivities

Jan Entrega de Varas , El Chiaraje , Marinera Festival
Feb Virgen de la Candelaria , Tinca de Vacas , Carnivals ,
Lunahuana Adventure Sports Festival
Mar La Vendimia Wine Festival , Crosses of Porcon , Easter Week
Lord of the Earthqueakes
Apr Peruvian Paso Horse Festival , Easter Week
May Virgen de Chapi , Señor de Muruhuay , Festival of the Crosses ,
Qoyllur Rit'i
Jun Inti Raymi , San Juan , Saint Peter and Saint Paul , Corpus Christi
Jul Virgen del Carmen , Independence Day , Yawar Fiesta
Aug Santa Rosa de Lima
Sep Virgen de Cocharcas , International Trujillo Spring Festival
Oct Virgen del Rosario , Señor Cautivo de Ayabaca , Señor de Luren ,
The Lord of the Miracles
Nov All Saints Day and Day of the Dead
Dec Andean Christmas , Santuranticuy Holiday , Virgen del Carmen ,
The Offering to the Earth (Pachamama)
 

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