Posts Tagged ‘Virgen of Candelaria Festival’
Pirwa Puno is pumped for this year’s Virgen of Candelaria Festival!
This festival in honor of Puno’s patron saint is one of the year’s most spectacular festivals of Peru and South America. Considered the folkloric capital of the country, Puno offers a vibrant display of costume, music, and dance in honor of the Mamacha Carmen. Folkloric dance competitions and parades create a spectacle involving more than 40,000 dancers and 5,000 dancers as well as tens of thousands of more indirectly involved embroiderers, boot makers, sponsors, and others.
Dancing Through History
Puno has almost 300 different classified dances with distinct music, dress, and choreography and charged with symbolism and significance. Different neighborhoods of the city and communities of the countryside train well in advance to represent their area and dances, investing heavily in elaborate folkloric costumes that pertain to each dance. To watch them perform is as if you were watching the millennial history of Puno dance past you.
Dances like the Phusa Morenos or Siku Morenos emerged from the black slave community of Puno after the conquest. They are danced in costumes of the devil, angel and Afro-Peruvian. These dances led to the famous Morenada (Black Dance) and Diablada (Devil’s Dance). Other dances, like the happy mestizo dance known as the Pandilla Puneña date back to the post-colonial Republican era. With the women clad in braids, bowler hats, many-petticoated skirts, shawls, and little boots they represent the typical Andean women.
Its pre-Columbian dances of Aymara and Quechua roots include the Los Maris or Cahuiris, in honor of the gods of lightning and thunder of the same name, the Llullmitha with its long dragging dresses and representation of the sown fields, the alternating male and female circles of the Markheta, and the Inca Huallatha. Ancient dances like the Llamerada and Llameritos were some of the oldest, danced by the shepherds and llama drivers of the Andean altiplano.
Programmed Events of Virgen of Candelaria 2012
Jan 26th the Queen of Folklore will be elected and crowned. On Feb 1st the actual statue of the Virgen of Candelaria will be transferred in procession from the San Juan Bautista Sanctuary where it normally resides to Puno’s Cathedral. The procession in honor of the Mamacha Carmen is on February 2nd, when the dancers from the countryside descend upon Puno with their instruments and vibrant costumes (studded with gems for the Morenada, with feather caps, or as Condors and Llamas.
The Indigenous Dance Contest, with dances performed in native and typical dress, will be on Feb 5th at 7:00am at the Enrique Torres Belón Stadium. Afterwards, they will take to the streets and continue dancing in parade. The “Urban Festival” on the Octava showcases Colonial and Republican Era (‘Mestizo’) dances, mostly performed in bullfighters’ dress. This is when the barrios of Puno present their own troupes. The competition will take place on Feb 12th at 7:00am in the Enrique Torres Belón Stadium. On the following day the dancers all participate in the Folkloric Parade to the Virgen of Candelaria. After dancing before the Virgen they will continue on to the cemetery. Feb 14th is the concert of the musical bands, and Feb 15th is the Parade of the Sicuris and Zampoñas. The festival finishes with separate parties and dances of the groups in their respective neighborhoods on February 16th through 18th, although prizes will not be awarded until March 25th.
Remember that for this festival PUNO FILLS UP FAST! Try and make your plans as far in advance as possible to make sure to get the most of your trip. Pirwa Travel Service can help with transport, excursions and tours (after all, you can’t go to Puno without visiting the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, and its famous Floating Islands of Uros!), and Pirwa Puno Backpackers can provide comfy and cheap lodging within walking distance of the main square and the harbor.