Impressions of Corpus Christi in Cusco

As part of our trip through Peru we were lucky enough to be in Cusco during the festivities of Corpus Christi. It is one of the most important festivities in the old Andean city. Already during the days preceding the holiday we saw many preparations happening, mostly around Cusco’s main square, the Plaza Mayor. We also heard that most holy statues from other churches in Cusco would stay in the main cathedral overnight and have a saintly sleepover. In the morning they are then taken out and shown to the masses in a beautiful procession. There are a lot of elaborate processions in Peru, with costumes, music and richly dexorate statues of saints. The Christian tradition of processions was adopted from ancient Egypt and was used as a public show of faith. When the Spanish came to South America this tradition continued a practice in the Inca Empire where important mummies were brought out and paraded for special festivals. The space they used is none other than Plaza de Armas, where the modern day Corpus Christi procession takes place. This is a good example how pre-Columbian practices fused with Spanish traditions. Here are a few impressions of how we experienced the day:

What a beautiful day in Cusco today!
Great mix of Andean style and typical Christian clothes
Main procession on Plaza Mayor with the Altar del Santisimo – Shrine of the Most Holy in embossed silver
Music everywhere in Cusco today!
After about noon the whole Plaza Mayor was packed with people…
Traditional food today is a cold meat plate – “cuy” or guinea pig is a key part
Yes, we tried it too! 🙂
The crowed stayed the whole day, clearly enjoying the show
Processions continuing in the beautiful afternoon sun
Colorful crowd
Locals enjoying a snack…
Taking a break – today must be a long day for many Cusqueños

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