Semana Santa in Cusco: A Mix of Andean and Catholic Traditions

Semana-santa-in-Cusco-2015

Semana Santa in Cusco (Holy Week), a mix of Andean and Catholic Traditions, is one of the largest and most important celebrations of the year in Cusco. It marks the events leading up to Christ’s resurrection on the cross and is normally celebrated during the last week or March or the first week of April depending on when Easter falls in the current year. In the Imperial City of the Incas, Cusco, Catholic tradition has mixed with indigenous Andean beliefs to form a unique iteration of a celebration that is found in many cities around the world.

Events begin on Lunes Santo, Holy Monday, with the procession of the black Christ around the Plaza de Armas to Plaza de San Francisco and back again, stopping at other churches along the way. The black Christ, known as Señor de los Temblores or Lord of Earthquakes, is representative of the mix of Catholic and indigenous beliefs in Holy Week. (more…)

Read more

Cusco´s Celebration of Semana Santa

Cusco´s Celebration of Semana Santa

Travelling to Cusco, Peru is an adventure in itself, but if you are there during Semana Santa, Holy Week, you are in for a real treat. This week of celebration is a very significant time for the people of Cusco. The most important day of the week being Holy Monday that marks the remembrance of the city´s patron, Señor de los Temblores, Lord of the Earthquakes. It is this day that the powerful and revered shrine comes out of the Cathedral and bestows its blessing upon all of the people. His power was shown in 1650 whenever there was an earthquake. It is said that the people prayed to this shrine and as they did, the earthquake stopped. From that day on, this shrine of Christ has been called Lord of the Earthquakes and has been credited for saving the lives of many.

Incan and Catholic beliefs mix during this compelling event. Before the Spaniards came, the Incan people would worship the sun. Specifically during Inti Raymi, they would take out mummies from their temples and carry them on altars all throughout the city. Later on the King of Spain ordered for the mummies to be replaced with saints and virgins. Now one day out of the year, the Señor de los Temblores, as a shrine of Jesus hanging on a cross, is taken out of the temple and carried all throughout the city of Cusco. People from all over the city, along with foreigners, come to receive the blessings that the shrine gives and to see this great spectacle. The people believe that worshipping the Señor de los Temblores will keep them safe from all harmful earthquakes.
(more…)

Read more