Monday, February 3, 2014

Fiesta del la Candelaria in Arequipa




The Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno, Peru, held in the first fortnight of February each year. I am planning to attend the last part of the festival in Puno next week, but I got a little preview yesterday. February 2 is the first day of the fiesta and, my host, Adela told me in the morning that there would be a procession from the church of Santa Marta to the Plaza de Armas.

So I dressed and hot-footed it to the church and waited around with the performers for the mass to end when the Virgin would emerge from the church. There was a group of women right next to me and one of them handed me her beautiful shawl and hat to put on. We laughed as I modeled for the camera.








Finally the Virgin appeared, carried on a litter by about twenty women. She was accompanied by firecrackers, many bands, and the most colorfully costumed dancers you have ever seen. The procession lasted about an hour and was so upbeat and, well, festive, that I could not stop grinning.




I have edited some of the other images and video to give you a glimpse of the festival:







5 comments:

  1. I really like the synchronized dancing... and don't be so surprised that Mary was carried by women... women are not nearly as demonized in catholic tradition as westerns like to claim... first off outside of Jesus, Mother Mary is easily the next most important character, I mean how much to you hear about Joseph... also Mary Magdalene was definitely a huge defining character to Jesus even if not to the later church... the decision to say she was a prostitute was not to demean her although i could see how it could be interpreted that way but was more to show that anyone no matter there state could find the favor of God... so it is actually praise to Magdalene in that sense because they used her Godly favor to show that no one is beyond saving... Also of course the devil offered the fruit to eve i mean are you kidding me?? you must remember in the church they truly believed these stories happened... so who had the better chance of convincing the other sex to eat the apple? I mean if Adam was like hey eve this snake told me we should eat this apple she would of just been like that's crazy and god told us not too and it would of ended right
    there so of course Satan had to convince eve... she was the hard case not the easy one

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  2. cathy, i am TOTALLY impressed by your movie making skill. this was fun. oh. have i told you i'm a sucker for a parade?

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    1. Thanks,Nan. This parade is totally about the costumes. The dancers mostly all dance the same steps to basically the same music. Occasionally, you will see a few new steps, but it is apparent they are showing off the incredibly lavish costumes. I would love to see how many of them are made.

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  3. Cathy, who was that guy in the white and gold costume? He cut a dashing figure....
    Em M

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