The carnival in Cusco takes place in February or March (the date is movable). Festivity that unites the population through the joy of the “yunzas or cortamontes”, which is the main attraction of this party that consists in the profusion of the game with water, talcum powder and mixture.
The main festival of the Cusqueño Carnival is held in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, with the presentation of public and private institutions, which offer the best of their dances, troupes and gangs, many of them winners of the various Carnival Festivals, at the same time , a gastronomic festival takes place, where the various foods and drinks predominate as the “puchero” or “t´impu” for the delight and satisfaction of the audience.
It starts very early with games that use water and mist as the main elements that men and women of different ages are launched. It is traditional in Cusco to see groups of Cusco mixed with national and foreign visitors who delight in this holiday.
The festivities of compadres and comadres, are the one that singularize the Carnivals of Cusco.
During the first (the compadres), two Thursdays before Carnival Sunday, the women visit and entertain their compadres, at the same time making fun of them hanging on the streets life-size ragdolls. The men do the same with their comadres the following Thursday.
The Feast of Compadres and Comadres, is a living proof that these customs still endure over time
The party is held in various districts and provinces of the department of Cusco, especially the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Pisac, Qoya, Calca, Urubamba, Lamay, Yanahuara etc.), as well as the South Valley (San Jerónimo, Oropesa and Canchis).
In the Carnival of the district of Tinta, in Cusco, women are the ones in charge.
In the countryside, and towns in the interior of Cusco, such as Mollepata and Calca, the carnival introduces peculiarities such as the Yunza of the Singles and Married, which is a tree decorated with gifts, where married couples or singles can dance and participate cutting the tree until it falls. The costumes have Spanish influence.
A week later, the eighth or last carnival performance is carried out, characterized by the dances, games and variety of festivities. In some areas of Cusco the Yunzas or Cortamontes are carried out again.
With the eighth of carnivals this important holiday ends.