Señor de los Temblores Procession in Cusco

Señor de los Temblores Procession in Cusco, Aracari Travel

In a country with a depth and complexity of history as Peru, ancient and deep-rooted religious beliefs vie with the official national religion of Catholicism. Add to this the dramatic physical and political impacts of the great earthquake of 1650 and the invasion of the Spanish Conquistadors – and you have the makings of a fantastic spiritual outpouring. Such spirituality manifests every year on the last Monday of March, when the people of Cusco depart from their daily lives for the procession of Señor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes).

The ceremony is as dramatic as its name suggests. Taking place on the moveable feast of Easter Monday, the procession carries aloft a statue of Christ, the Taytacha. According to one of a number of legends this was inspired by the statue at the cathedral in Burgos and was a gift from Charles V to Cusco, which he considered the most important city in his new dominions in South America. Today, blackened by the smoke of thousands of candles over the centuries, the statue is an impressive if somewhat eerie sight. In 1977, restoration expert Pedro Querejazu discovered that it was made from wood and cloth stiffened with glue and covered in llama skin. Moreover, Taytacha’s flowing locks and beard are made from human hair, and his head is topped with a solid gold crown of thorns fashioned in the mid-17th Century by locals in the Hispanic tradition.

On the day of the procession, two groups of Quechua singers known as chaynas or jilgueros inaugurate the ceremony with song as the statue prepares to move from the cathedral. Other senses are awakened with the rich colour of the crimson ñukchu flower which decorates the cross, symbolising the blood of Christ. Finally, flanked by the singers and crowds of people, the procession starts its winding journey through the streets of Cuzco to the Plaza de Armas, just as it did for the first time in the 17th century.

There are many exciting festivals and celebrations throughout the year in Peru, which you can find out more information about on our exclusive Peru festival calendar. If you would like to book a trip to Cusco for the Señor de los Temblores festival, contact us at travel@aracari.com.

Related Post

Lodge-to-Lodge Ausangate Trek While recently in the Cusco region, I took the opportunity to hike the lodge-to-lodge Ausangate trek. This is an incredible high altitude 5 day trek, ...
Hay Festival Arequipa Described by former U.S. President Bill Clinton as “Woodstock of the mind,” the international Hay Festival is an illuminative gathering of thinkers fr...
Día de la Canción Criolla: A Celebration of Music and Dance in Peru Día de la Canción Criolla Before coming to Peru a few months ago, I had always associated October 31st with Halloween, candy, and spooky costumes.  H...
How To Celebrate Corpus Christi In Cusco Every year, Cusco celebrates the movable (in 2019 it is on June 20)  Catholic holiday of Corpus Christi, in a grand way.  The Feast of Corpus Christi ...
Stand Up Paddle Cusco Practiced originally on the shores of Hawaii, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) has become increasingly popular in recent years. Having heard a lot about...
5 Ways to Enjoy Peru’s Independence Holiday Fiestas Patrias in Peru On 28 and 29 July each year Peru celebrates Fiestas Patrias, the national holidays to commemorate the country's independence....