Views 02 Feb Dos Manos excursion to “Virgen De La Candelaria” in Puno
 |  Category: Events

In February the highland town of Puno, nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca at an altitude of 3,870 meters above sea level, becomes the Folk Capital of the Americas. The festival gathers more than 200 groups of musicians and dancers to celebrate the “Mamacha Candelaria”. For the first nine days, the “mayordomos” (those in charge of organizing the festivities), decorate the church and pay for Mass, banquets and fireworks displays. On the main day, February 2, the virgin is led through the city in a colorful procession comprising priests, altar boys, the faithful, Christians and pagans carefully maintaining the hierarchy. This is the moment when the troupes of musicians and dancers take the scene, performing and dancing throughout Puno.

Dos Manos excursion to Virgen De La Candelaria in Puno

The festival is linked to the pre-Hispanic agricultural cycles of sowing and harvesting, as well as to mining activities in the region. It is the result of a blend of respectful Aymara gaiety and ancestral Quechua seriousness. “La diablada”, the dance of the demons, is the main dance of the festival and was allegedly dreamt up by a group of miners trapped down a mine who, in their desperation, resigned their souls to the Virgen de la Candelaria. The dancers, blowing pan-pipes (zampoñas) and clad in spectacular costumes and outlandish masks, make their offerings to the earth goddess “Pachamama”. The most impressive masks, for their terrifying aspect, are those of the deer fitted with long twisted horns similar to the Devil, and “Jacancho”, the god of minerals. During the farewell, or “Cacharpari”, the dancers who fill the streets finally head to the cemetery to render homage to the dead.

Dos Manos is organizing trip to this fantastic festival, come with us!
Please write or visit us at Calle Suecia 480

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2 Responses

  1. 1

    Thanks for the info!!

  2. 2
    South AmericanTravel Blog 

    You´re welcome Lauren, we´re glad you enjoyed this blog entry. It really is an amazing festival, South America always knows how to throw a great party!

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