Feasts and Festivals in Ayacucho
Ayacucho counts with a very large number of feasts. Most of them are a mixture of the folklore of the Andes and the religious traditions brought from Spain. During all these feasts, people dress in multicolored typical costumes, with native music mixed with religious feelings. Indigenous relate their crops with gifts from heaven and earth. Each year a master is chosen, he is in charge of giving entertainment to the citizens of the city, giving all his money to organize the best feast. Each year there is chosen a different master for the feast.
01 New Year (holiday)
06 Bajada de Reyes (Kings of Jerusalem entrance), in the town of Belen. Contests of different kind of dancers during the evenings, such as Tijeras, huaylillas and wiraqos.
02 Virgen de la Candelaria, take place in the temples of Santa Clara and San Sebastian. Dances like huaynos, marinera and arrascas. Religious processions. Food and beverage festival. The image of the Virgin has a miracle character. (Movable) Fiesta de las Comadres y Compadres: religious feast celebrated in all the churches; all the participants to this dance tie fruit, biscuits, candy and decorations to their body and dance by the city.
February / March
(Movable) Carnival: Great and colorful feast, with folkloric dances. People dance around the city dressed in multicolor costumes during three days. This is in honor of the fertility of country life.
March / April
(Movable) Holy Week
25 Week dedicated to Huamanga. Time of rejoicing for the citizens of this city.
03 Fiesta de Las Cruces (of the Crosses). Also called the travelers feast, takes place in the neighborhood of Puca Cruz. Previous to the feast, the citizens of this neighborhood gather to worship the crosses, dancing folkloric music. The next day, with musicians, they take all the decorated crosses to the church of San Francisco de Asís. After a mass and the blessing of the crosses, the people dance and party for one more day.
13 Fiesta de la Virgen de Fátima (Fatima Virgin). Takes place at San Francisco de Asís Church.
24 Fiesta de Corpus Christi, San Juan Bautista and Octava de Hábeas.
16 Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen, takes place in the church of Santa Teresa
28 Independence Day (holiday)
15 Celebración de la Ascención (Celebration of the ascension of the lord to heaven). Takes place at the surrounding towns of Ayacucho.
30 Fiesta de la Abuelita (Feast of the Grandmother), takes place in the church of Santa Ana.
8 Cocharcas Feast. Feast dedicated to the patron of the town of Quinua.
14 Exaltación del Señor (Praise to the Lord). Takes place in Quinuapata.
14 Fiesta del Señor de Amancaes (Lord of Amancaes). Takes place in Conchapata.
18 Fiesta del Señor de Manyay, (Lord of Manyay).
24 Fiesta de la Virgen de Las Mercedes, take place at the Church of La Merced.
04 Fiesta de San Francisco de Asís, at San Francisco de Asís Church.
15 Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario, at the church of Santo Domingo.
18 Fiesta del Señor de los Milagros, at the church of San Francisco de Asís.
01 Fiesta de Todos los Santos (All Saints day), holiday, at the Cathedral. There is an important mass, all the citizens gather at the Cathedral. People carry the traditional "Huahuas" (biscuits with the shape of newborns), and the famous "suspiros", dessert made with the egg whites, and milk candy. People visit cemeteries. People also simulate the baptism or burials of dolls.
09 Anniversary of Ayacucho Battle. Week dedicated to Honor the Liberty of South America. It takes place in the town of Quinua.