No one does festivals quite like the people from Cusco, Peru. Colourful parades, dancing, music and great food all contibute to making a fabulous atmosphere. Every Sunday there is a small parade held through the streets around the Plaza de Armes, so grab yourself an Inca Cola and sit in one of the cafes over-looking the square and people watch to your heart's content!. If you manage to time your visit to coincide with one of the bigger festivals, then you are in for an even bigger treat. Here is a list of the biggest dates in Cusco's festival calendar:
El Senor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes) - late March / early April, a colourful procession held on the Monday prior to Easter, thanking the Lord of Earthquakes for saving Cusco from destruction in the powerful earthquake that hit the city in 1650.
Crucix Vigil - May 2nd and 3rd, various religious events are held on all of the hillsides around the city
Cruz Velacuy / Fiesta de las Cruces (Festival of the Crosses) - early May, a Catholic event where religious crosses are carried around the city and its nearby communities
Festival de la Cerveza Cusquena - the Cusco Beer festival - May / June, one of the leading music festivals in South America, lasting three days of merriment, music and beer.
Corpus Christi - June 7th 2012 a Catholic festival celebrating the Eucharist. Once again, the focal point of festivities is the central square, where processions will culminate at the cathedral.
Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) - June 24th, without question the number one event in Cusco, celebrated by the whole city and featuring a re-enactment of Saqsaywaman's Inca winter solstice festival, street dancing and much pageantry, around the Koricancha Temple and the Plaza de Armas
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul - June 29th, religious events staged throughout Peru
National Independence Days - July 28th and 29th, celebrated in Cusco and throughout Peru
Todos Santos (All Saints Day) - November 1st, a religious event and national holiday
Santuranticuy Artisan Crafts Fair - December 24th, On Christmas eve every year, a major crafts fair is held in Cusco, at the Plaza de Armas.