Week of the Foundation of Lima
(18th of January)
Civic and cultural activities to celebrate the over four hundred yearn old City of Lima. Art exhibitions, guided tours, street parades, serenades and fireworks will take place.
Water games involving small pieces of confetti (Pica-pica) during all February weekends, allegoric car parades in Miraflores, and meetings at different barrios neighbourhoods and provincial clubs to celebrate the Corta monte (An old and much controversial celebration in which a tree is chopped down amidst gallons of beer and many typical dishes).
Lunahuaná's Grape, Wine and Canoeing Festival (February)
Lunahuaná, south of Lima (Cañete), is the main wine producer in the Department and an ideal place for the practice of adventure sports. Canoeing, paragliding, trekking, free flying, mountain biking, and reel and fishnet fishing championships, take place during the Festival.
Fiesta of the Grape Harvest and Wine Making (March).
Programme of Grape Harvest and Wine Making celebrations in the traditional District of Surco, with a beauty pageant and visits to the wine cellars.
Festivity of variable date on which the faithful visit the main colonial churches in the centre of Lima in order to reaffirm their religious faith.
Peruvian Pace Horses National Competition (April).
An occasion to appreciate the spirited specimens and the characteristic pace of the Peruvian horses at Mamacona (Lurín).
Peruvian Pace Horse Festival
Place: Pachacamac (Lima)
Date: April the 15th - 20th
The Spanish horse crossed with the Arabian, and bred in a desert geography that outlined its gait and its format, gave place to the Peruvian Pace Horse. For 300 years the blood of this new breed begun to positively filter, until developing the characteristics that have turned it into one of the most beautiful and elegant specimens of the world. On the other hand, breeders, riders (chalanes) and artisans, have known how to sift the art of ambling - synchronised movements of the hind and forelegs in a parallel manner - throughout the years. This gait in its turn originated the peculiar steps and the jauntiness of the marinera dance.
The gear - comprised by the mantle, the saddle and the linings - and the garments of the chalan (rider) - plain white pants and shirt, straw hat, a poncho made of vicuna fibre, scarf, boots and spurs - are part of this attractive whole.
This tradition, which has been exported to several parts of the world, is driven through different contests taking place in the coastal cities and in the Peruvian Sierra as well, being the Peruvian Pace Horses National Contest the most important one; it is realised annually at the exhibition field of Mamacona, in the historic locality of Pachacamac, located at about 30 kilometres south of Lima.
Fiesta of the Crosses
Place : Lima, Apurímac, Ayacucho, Junín, Ica and
Date: May the 3rd
For this celebration, wide spread in the Sierra region, the members of each community organise to adorn their respective cross and to prepare it for its procession bound to the neighbouring churches.
The celebration is intimately linked to the gratitude for the good harvests that the peasants offer their deities since pre-Hispanic times.
As a stage to the festivity, the folkloric shows in which the scissor dancers participate are frequent. In ancient times the danzaq or scissor dancers realise their bold steps even on top of the church belfries.
Nowadays, danzaqs compete executing unbelievable deeds of valour.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul
Place: Chorrillos and Lurín (Lima), San José (Lambayeque)
Date: June the 29th
Along with the cleaning of the communities' canals, a true water festivity unravels at the localities of the Sierra. Meanwhile at the coast, Saint Peter has been picked as the fishermen's patron and he is worshiped at the ports and coves of Chorrillos and Lurín in Lima, and the one of San José, located 13 kilometres north of Chiclayo. Here the ceremony takes place at the mouth of the Lambayeque River where, according to legend, the founding god Naylamp, set foot. The saint is conducted amid incense, chants and prayers, up to the seashore to embark him through a journey to bless the waters for a good fishing year.
Independence Day (28th and 29th of July).
There is an impressive civic-military parade at Campo de Marte the 29th of July to celebrate Independence Day (which is actually the 28th), and a Te-Deum in the Cathedral with the attendance of all national authorities. Allegoric cars and fireworks in Miraflores.
Week of Cañete (4th week of August).
Cañete is one of the largest settings for Afro-Peruvian culture, whose art is appreciated during these dates.
Santa Rosa of Lima
Place: City of Lima and Santa Rosa de Quives (Lima),
Ocopa (Junín) and Arequipa.
Date: August the 30th
Santa Rosa of Lima is the name with which a woman from Lima was eternised in the XVII Century. A great religious vocation led Isabel Flores de Oliva to consecrate as a tertiary (bachelor consecrated with no particular order), and to develop a pious life at the service of the ill. The fame of her penitence to resist sin, as well as that of her kindness, was being expanded even during her lifetime. Her veneration was spread not only in Peru but to the Philippines and other parts of the continent, thus she was proclaimed Patron of the Americas and the Philippines.
Her sanctuary, located in the centre of Lima, is subject to a permanent pilgrimage by devotees who go seeking to deserve a miracle, especially regarding the health of the ill. During the 30th of August, it is customary to drop good will letters into the pit where Saint Rose tossed the key of her belt of penance, as well as to visit the hermitage she built by herself. Santa Rosa is the Patron Saint of the Peruvian's National Police and her festivity is celebrated all over the country, with an special Quechua emphasis at the locality of Santa Rosa de Quives, in the Sierra region of the Department of Lima.
Fiesta of the Water (1st Sunday of October).
Communal tasks for cleaning the water canals are a means to greatly celebrate the Pachamama (Mother Earth) in San Pedro de Casta (Canta)
Virgin of the Rosary
Place: Lima, Ancash, Apurímac, Arequipa and Cusco
Date: October the 4th
The Virgin of the Rosary is the Patron of the Order of the Dominicans, who were in charge of the guild of the slaves during the Colonial period; that is why many times her image is accompanied by an icon with the letter "S" pinned with a nail (symbol of the black slaves).
Her cult, which dates back to 1536, is celebrated all across Peru. At Cajatambo, in the Sierra region of Lima, there is a farm and livestock fair taking place the first Sunday of October, along with bullfights, Marinera (typical dance) contests, and a procession that has The Devils as their main supernumeraries.
In the districts of Urcos, Province of Quispicanchis, as well as in Combate and Checaupe, Province of Canchis, both in the Department of Cusco, she is celebrated with processions, bullfights and substantial Pachamancas, which are meals cooked "inside the earth", in shallow pits covered with hot stones.
But the most important centre for the celebrations of the Virgin of the Rosary is the Department of Ancash. The festivity is realised in the presence of the Pallas, maidens dressed with garments of loose sleeves and high crowns of flowers on their heads, and the famous Negritos (black people), dancers wearing black wool masks and who enliven the commemoration.
A symbolic clash between Moors, locals dressed with Andean suits, and Christians, dressed with Spanish colonial customs, takes place during this festivity. The struggle ends when the Moor kings repent and plea for their conversion to Christianity, after being defeated and taken prisoners. The procession to return the Virgin to her temple begins at dusk and it is accompanied by bands of musicians.
Month of the Lord of the Miracles (Señor de los Milagros)
October the 18th , 27th and 28th
Procession of the Lord of the Miracles
The processions take place during the month of October, in which all Lima is dressed in purple for the most spectacular and attended to religious festivity, where the habits, pastries and scapulars of the Christ of Pachacamilla inundate the city. This procession congregates the largest number of devotees of South America, who pay homage to the Purple Christ with chants and praises whilst the image makes its way through the city.
The history of this procession goes back to the Colonial period, when a slave brought from Angola painted the image of a black Christ on the walls of a humble precinct of the hacienda of Pachacamilla, close to Lima. The image remained on the wall in spite of the various attempts to erase it, circumstances which awakened its devotion.
All neighbouring constructions were levelled during the 1746 earthquake save the wall bearing the black Christ. Due to this event, the popular faith was consolidated, a faith that has ever expanded until currently becoming the most revered in the City of Lima. The core of the celebration is one of the largest processions of America in which dozens of thousands of followers dressed with purple habits chant and pray whilst going with the image. The platform, weighing two tons and carried on the shoulders of the faithful, starts its almost 24 hour long traditional outing from the Temple of Las Nazarenas, goes across the centre of Lima until it reaches the Church of La Merced, in Barrios Altos. There are plenty of dishes and typical sweets, such as the renowned Turrón de Doña Pepa, offered during these dates.
Bullfighting season (October / November)
At the Plaza de Acho (Lima's bullring), the famous homonymous bullfighting season, summoning the most prestigious bullfighters of America and Spain, is also realised in October in commemoration of the Lord of the Miracles. This traditional fiesta is a delight to many people in Lima since Viceroyalty times, and a source of controversy as well.