Write a comment
Festival of the Crosses - Fiesta de las Cruces in Peru

Festival of the Crosses - Fiesta de las Cruces in Peru

Celebrated in the regions of Apurimac, Ayacucho, Cusco, Ica, Junin, Pasco, Puno

03 May

The Festival of the Crosses, also known as Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses Festival), was introduced to Peru by the Spaniards and is celebrated in Peru mostly in towns in the Andean highlands on May 3.

When the Spaniards conquered the Incas and took control over the extensive empire, they tried to eradicate local customs, traditions and feasts by replacing them with Christian counterparts.

Ancient festivities celebrated by local peasant farmers at the end of the southern hemisphere summer to thank mother earth for a rich harvest were supposed to disappear with introducing the Spanish May Crosses Festival. But instead of getting rid of the unwanted non-Christian traditions, these two traditional celebrations merged and developed into a “peruvianized” version of the religious festival.

As hundreds of years ago, today members of mostly rural communities still prepare large wooden crosses and decorate them lavishly with flowers and traditional fabrics. In huge processions the worshippers then carry the crosses to neighboring churches. The festivities are often accompanied by folk music and traditional dances, including the famous danzantes de tijeras (scissors dancers).

While in Apurimac, Ayacucho, Ica, Junin, Pasco and Puno the festivities are usually just called Fiesta de las Cruces, Cusco celebrates the Fiesta de la Cruz Velacuy and Huancavelica the Fiesta del Espíritu Santo (usually later in May).

Say something here...
characters left
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Peru Event Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Latest Content...

Latest Video

Maria Reiche - Memories

Maria Reiche - Memories

Submitted by: Tintin
05 December 2021

Long Reads...

  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The Mystery of the Nazca Lines in Peru

    In the 1920s, when people first flew across southern Peru, they made an astonishing discovery. Stretching below them,…
  • Peruvian Personalities & Founders

    Francisco Pizarro González (1474-1541)

    Francisco Pizarro, a peasant from Spain, was one of the least well-equipped conquerors in history. However, in the name…
  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The colorful Fabrics and Textiles of Peru

    Europe’s first knowledge of Peruvian textiles was acquired following the Spanish invasion of Peru in 1532, when the…
  • Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales

    The Jeweled Frog and the Condor

    By a quiet pond, at the side of a cloud-topped mountain in Peru, lived a small green frog and his large green family.…
  • Peru Info

    Peruvian Economy

    The Peruvian economy is an emerging, social market economy highly dependent on foreign trade and classified as an upper…