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The best, the only way of compenetrating with a city that is living a constant festivity like Cusco is to understand the deep sense of its celebrations. The range of festivities that Cusco propose to the visitor is almost endless. Thus, the main ceremonies are the ones that establish the most important moments. By the way, Cusco take also into account the national holidays such as our Independence day but none of them can be compared to the regional celebrations in Cusco if we talk about the quantity of audience joint.

The Coyllur Riti, for instance, meet pilgrims from the andean south as well as from other nearby countries. On the other side, there are minor celebrations related to daily life such as cleaning the drains, the first hair cut or the engagement of a couple.
 
 
Festivities Introduction
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Along with all of these celebrations and showing the versatility and diversity of Cusco as a festive city, modernity has entered the city establishing a festival which could be considered the most important festival of youth music in the country.


The historic background of the festivities
Since the Inca period, the religious, military and civic ceremonies were very important in the Sacred City of the Incas as they reaffirmed the magic and mythic character of their city. During the colony, the religious festivities became more important. Along the years, festivities have suffered many changes. Although all the elements that have been included, the celebrations have not loosen their main features and they are still, most of them, related to the agriculture and cattle calendar.


The festivities of the vital cycle
It is about a series of festivities that had, even today they do, a very important role in their social life. They create and reinforce the links of relationships and reciprocity among the andean communities. Among them we have the haircut or rutuchikuy, the serwinakuy or mock marriage and the day of death people.


The colonial festivities
Festivities became more important during the colony. The baroque festivity, splendid product of the Counter-Reformation was thought as a method of resistance against the sudden attack of the Protestantism. As they considered it as the institute for the civilization par excellence, Spanish authorities tried all the social levels participate in them. Thus, in the new squares, in the masses and processions, along with the songs and firework, the native inhabitants were incorporated little by little to the new order. The wealth of the prehispanic ceremonial life facilitated the establishment of colonial ceremonies and contribute to the symbiosis. As Catholicism is also a religion of solar worship, the date of the catholic festivities were the same as in the andean world. The western calendar of festivities was established along with the andean calendar. We have the same day the celebration of the Inti Raymi and the Corpus Christi for instance.


Easter and the Lord of tremors
Easter is a central commemoration in the catholic world as it reminds us about the death and resurrection of Christ. In Cusco, the celebration of Easter is related to the Lord of tremors: the defensor of the city.

The image of the Taytacha Tremors, as it is called in Cusco, amazes by its expression of roughness and pain. The worship dates from the colony when in 1650 a horrible earthquake practically destroyed the city and the population decided to take the Christ out in procession by the streets of the city.


For the cross, the saints and crops
At the time of the conquest of America, the cross was the symbol of the new religion and the european civilization. With that purpose, the Council of Lima ordered to put crosses in all the ancient worship places. But, despite all the orders, the indian continue venerating their huacas below the Christian symbol. As the time past, a religious syncretism started. The cross was related to the huacas. Finally it became the symbol of the union between the catholic religious and the andean believes. Nowadays, the cross has a very important place in the andean world. The festivity of the Velacuy cross is celebrated the first week of May and concurred with the period of crop.


Regional festivities
During the last years, the regional festivities have become more and more popular. They join thousand of pilgrims from all the andean south and nearby countries. The organization of the festivities and the competence among the devotees to assume their charges and the butlership of the festivity are clear signs of their importance and meaning. The most celebrated regional festivities are the festivity of the Lord of Coyllur Riti, the Lord of Huanca and the Virgin of Carmen.


The renaissance of the Inti Raymi
In 1944, on initiative of Humberto Vidal a representative of the Inca Garcilaso Center and one of the most notable characters of the neoindian movement, they established the week of Cusco. June 24th was declared as the main day of Cusco and the Inti Raymi was established the most important event taking place in the esplanade of Sacsayhuaman. Besides, they composed the hymn and the song of the city. For some notable persons in Cusco, the intention was to support a "revolution" directed to the people in Cusco in order to make them assume the importance of valuing the inca past.



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