Peru’s Vibrant Candelaria Festival – Puno

An amazing Peru festival in your trip

Each year during the first two weeks of February, Puno hosts one of the largest and most vibrant festivals in all of South America – the spectacular Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria.  Paying homage to their patron saint, tens of thousands of dancers and musicians from all over the Peruvian Altiplano gather together on the shores of Lake Titicaca transforming Puno into the “Folkloric Capital of Peru.”

Legend has it that during a large battle in the 1700’s, rebels attempted to overtake the city of Puno. Largely outnumbered, the townspeople struggled and were on the verge of losing the city until one villager desperately took a statue of the Virgin into battle. Morale quickly rose, and with the Virgin’s protection, the city’s inhabitants were able to force the invaders into retreat.

Since then, La Candelaria is considered the patron saint of the land. The original statue is proudly venerated in the city’s main church and is taken out each year for the festival.  For many days, the streets are flooded with colorful processions, strewn with confetti, and alit with fireworks.  Dances are performed throughout the festival including a full-day competition featuring over 200 different styles of dance.  The diverse styles reflect the deep folkloric tradition of the Quechua and Aymara cultures of the region.  Donned in spectacularly colorful costumes and masks, the performers dance and sing along to traditional Andean music aiming to please the Lady of Candelaria, and to of course win the competition and that year’s bragging rights.  The festivities culminate days later with thousands taking part in a lively five-kilometer parade through the city.

Contact us to visit and take part in next year’s Candelaria Festival Puno.

Related Post

Conscious Travel in Action – Aracari’s Plastic Free Policy For more than 20 years, our ethos of conscious travel has been at the heart of everything we do. Our goal has always been to protect the communities a...
New to the Miraflores Neighborhood in Lima: Hotel de Autor (Autor I) Luxury hotels in Peru Blog post update in 2016: Hotel de Autor has been renamed Autor I, with the addition of sister property Autor II, also located ...
Art and Sustainability An Exploration of the Sacred Valley: Our Team’s Experiences in Cusco The Aracari team is always on the lookout for unique experiences to offer our gu...
Marisol Mosquera Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist for Peru and Bolivia The Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist List Every year, leading travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler compile a list of the créme de la créme of travel e...
In Conversation with Joaquin Randall: How to make tourism more sustain... Joaquin Randall’s is a sustainable tourism entrepreneur based in Ollantaytambo, near Machu Picchu, Peru. Peruvian born of American parents, Joaquin is...
Visit to Kusi Kawsay School in Peru’s Sacred Valley By Caitlin, Photos: Caroline Maxcy Photography | On July 4th, 2012 I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most unique schools I have ever seen. It ...