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Holy Week in Ayacucho

 

It is one of the most famous religious feasts in Peru. Originally celebrated in Spain, represents sacrifice and death of Jesus in the Calvary. All the citizens of this city participate.


Every year, thousands of people from all the country and foreigners arrive to Ayacucho to participate of the religious devotion of these people. People from the surrounding cities arrive in caravans to Ayacucho.


Celebrations begin on Sunday, they call it "Domingo de Ramos" (Palms), and they end the next Sunday, "Domingo de Pascua" (Easter). Every day, during the Holy Week processions take place as well as religious manifestations. They are accompanied with folkloric dances. Parallel to these celebrations, artisan and cattle fairs take place.


During the first Sunday of the Holy Week, people do a remembrance of the triumphal entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem. Very early in the morning, donkeys and llamas, with herbs from the area, enter the city. Later those herbs are incinerated during the next Sunday (Easter).


Then, on Wednesday, the image of Jesus is venerated. All the pilgrims surround the image holding candles in their hands, and in that moment, the light from the city is turned down. Images of some other saints, taken from churches of the area, accompany this procession.


After that, on Thursday, people do their visit to 33 churches of the city.


On Friday, there is a big procession to the Saint Sepulcher. It begins during the evening from Santo Domingo Church. A coffin made of crystal with the image of Jesus that lays on white rose petals, go over the city, followed with another images and women from the city all dressed in black.


Saturday is the day in which "Morochucos", riding on horses, climb the Acuchimay Mountain with people from Ayacucho.


Then, on Sunday all the people wake up with the ringing of the bells from all the churches in Ayacucho. After that they go to the Cathedral, carrying out a very big image of Jesus brought back to life, this image is carried by more than 250 men. They go around the city, with many pilgrims, giving end to this special Holy Week



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