Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Corpus Christi in Cusco

 Once a year there is a big celebration in Cusco where the Saints and Virgin Mary statues from different churches are paraded through Cusco.  It is a huge celebration that has been going on for hundreds of years.  It started with the Inkas,  The Inks would take their ancestor's mummies and parade them once a year.  When the Spanish took over they changed it to the Saints and Virgin statues.  Each statue represents a Saint or Virgin Mary with a different quality.  I think there were 16 in all but we were only there for four.  People from all over the world come to see this.

Real silver, gold and jewels.

These two huge displays have pictures of the Saints and Virgins.

This is the frame that they set the statue on whenever they pause. Look at all those boys trying to help with this honor.

Men carrying the statues.

Look at the beautiful handiwork on these costumes.

Where is the tourist?  Isn't Lyle's hat nice looking?  Thanks Elder Hasler!

Bands and Dancing in the Street after the parade.

Traditional food of the festival.  We didn't dare eat any of it, even though we were tempted by the corn cakes. We were not sure how or where the food had been prepared.  There were hundreds of food displays like this.
The streets are lined with people eating this traditional food.

1 comment:

  1. Corpus Christi = another reason to have a big party and parade. We remember it from last year. It is so lively and colorful - and we did eat a sampling of the food, but in a decent restaurant, not on the street. The big frame the boys are carrying is for the men to set the big statue of their Saint on when they have to pause. Elder Rhoades backpack strap got speared by one of the big timbers under a statue, and he got carried for a few feet before he could get loose! Hnas Johnson and Rhoades got "moshed" in the crowd, and actually carried a few feet when there was a surge to get out of the way of one of the statues. Be ready for a reverse of the event in a week or so, when they return the statues of the Saints to the other churches throughout the city where they live til next year. It is a big honor (and very expensive) to be chosen to "dress" the Saints for the annual procession to the cathedrals in Plaza de Armas. The men who do the carrying consider that their annual "penance", it is also an honor to be chosen to be one of the carriers. As you have seen, the director of each group doesn't have real control over how the big heavy statue is carried, and they sort of lurch down the street, so you better get out of the way. It was a very fun time, and we got lots of great pictures of the crowd as well as the statues. The Plaza was about as crowded during this event as any other we have seen.

    We were working in one of the neighborhoods late at night during the time that they were carrying their Saint back to their own church, and I'll tell you it was a party going on! Roads were blocked, singing, drinking and the usual celebrations that the Cusquenos don't need much of a reason for to get out and party. We took a wide detour, but I did thread my way down to get some close-up photos.