Semana Santa in Peru

South America is a wonderful destination to visit at anytime of year, but to visit during a religious or annual festival, such as Christmas, New Year, or Inti Raymi, can add to the whole experience and make the holiday that little bit more special.

South America has a dazzling and intoxicating way of making all these celebrations epic visual spectacles, that really draw in intrepid travellers to admire, experience, and live the culture.

Easter is almost upon us in 2015, and in South America this period is known as Semana Santa, and is celebrated across much of the continent, including in Peru and Bolivia.

For holidaymakers this is a great time of year to travel to visit this fantastic continent, as destinations across the country celebrate this religious occasion with beautiful and multi-coloured street parades and festivities, processions, flower displays, dancing, parties and firework displays. Attending a religious ceremony of this type when on holiday in Peru or Bolivia or any of the other catholic countries in South America can really create special occasions and ever-lasting memories.

Semana Santa in Cusco

Cusco is a great destination to visit during Semana Santa, as the festivities in the city are typically extravagant and impressive, but also quite touching and poignant.

Cusco is an ancient city, dating from the time of Inca and even earlier, and over the course of hundreds of years the town has been hit by some large earthquakes, one of which, in 1650, has had a lasting effect on the festivities in the town: it is said that after the earthquake the statue of Christ housed in the Cusco Cathderal, originally sent to Peru by King Phillip V of Spain during the Catholicisation of the country, turned black with a skin colour that resembled the local Andean people. Since this date the statue has been revered as the Christ of the Earthquakes ("Cristo de los Temblores" in Spanish), 

Semana Santa Peru

Semana Santa, Cusco

Semana Santa in Ayacucho

The most famous location in South America to attend Semana Santa is probably the Peruvian town of Ayacucho, where the entire population of this town join together to celebrate in one giant festivity, complete with fantastic carpets of flowers and daily processions.

The festivities start on the Friday before palm Sunday, and continue right through until Easter Sunday... with different events taking place on each day, including re-enactments of the meeting between Christ and his mother, feasts, and shopping extravaganzas with market stalls trading traditional artesan crafts and religious articles.

The local tradition in this region is that in the days between the death of Christ and his resurrection, as Christ is dead there is no religion and sin does not exist, so this is a time for partying and enjoying oneself without the worry of committing sin. Consequently the locals try their best to simply have a fabulous time, and it certainly is a rewarding time to visit Peru and join in the celebrations.

Visit Peru during Semana Santa

Visiting Peru during Semana Santa can be a thoroughly rewarding and fascinating experience, whether you are a religious person or not, and if you happen to be in Peru during this time of year you are practically guaranteed to see some street parade or festival. Trust us! If you're looking for visual spectacle, visit Peru during Semana Santa.

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