The celebrations in Cusco aren’t like anything you’ve seen before. They have parades celebrating their Incan history, their gastronomy, and Catholicism – more so the mixture of the Incan religion and Catholicism. Everyone participates from as young as about 2 or 3 years old to 70ish. This year was the first time in a hundred years when the holiday (that typically are on random days similar to Easter) lined up all on the same week all leading up to Inti Raymi. A few things we noticed about the parades in Cusco:
- They all have cultural or spiritual significance
- There are so many beautiful colors
- Grammar schools, universities, municipalities, organizations etc… participate.
- A lot of the groups are environmentally conscious.
- Everyone loves candied apples and cotton candy!
- The parades last all day long all week long
- A random band can walk in the streets in the middle of the night having its own sort of parade.
- Parades would happen with or without the tourist.
- This is not a big commercial advertisement of cartoon characters, plays for you to go see, or about any movie or tv stars. This is about history.
- Cuzqueno the local beer is sold on the street all day 2 for 5 soles.
The following are pics from the parades leading up to Inti Raymi (which was on June 24th). I will do a separate post for Inti Raymi.