Corpus Christi - June

Corpus Christi is celebrated all over Peru since colonial times, but in Cusco the processions, street decorations and fervor of the citizens turn it into a very colorful and impressive ceremony. It is also a wonderful opportunity for visitors to celebrate a traditional festival.
Sixty days after Easter Sunday, fifteen saints and virgins from various districts are borne in different processions to the Cathedral to “greet” the Sacred Host. It is kept in a 1,2 m tall gold goblet that weighs 26 kg. This is accompanied with the chimes of Peru’s largest church bell: the María Angola (forged in a copper-gold alloy in the 16th century by local artisan Diego Arias de Cerda).
At night everyone gathers together for a vigil that lasts until dawn. The most popular dishes served are chiriuchu (spicy guinea pig), beer, chicha, cornbread and sugarcane. By daylight, the procession settles in the main square, bearing the images of five virgins in richly embroidered tunics, and the images of four saints: Sebastian, Blas, Joseph and Apostle Santiago (Saint James) mounted on a beautiful white horse.
After the saints enter the Cathedral for homage, authorities from various communities meet in the main square to discuss local affairs. After seven days (el octavo), the saints go out in procession before going back to their places until the next year. Visitors who miss the actual day of Corpus Christi are able to see similar processions a week after.