(The Quechua word says it all: Santu: santos and Ranticuy: sale).
Christmas in Cusco acquires special contours, because around it there are various activities. The city lives a festive atmosphere with the arrangement of the balconies of the Monumental Center, with lights, garlands and other Christmas motifs. From the first days of December, beautiful allegories are placed that illuminate the main square during the nights of this month.
Every December 24, the largest fair of popular art in Peru is held in the Plaza Mayor, this Santurantikuy fair, congregates hundreds of artisans from different parts of Cusco and other regions of the country, who exhibit beautiful and original works, product of his creative spirit throughout the year and which will adorn the representations of Christmas births in the homes of the people of Cusco. The boy Manuelito is the central character of the Christmas party in Cusco.
Despite the imposition of the Catholic religion, the Andean people have not forgotten their religious traditions, keeping them almost hidden. Nature, for them, had its own spiritual representations: the Apu, spirit of the hill; the Pachamama, the earth and Wiracocha, as the divine creator.
In Cusco, a city with great indigenous tradition, the image of Niño Manuel, is revered every year during the Christmas Holidays, through a holiday called “Santurantikuy”. This celebration is prepared well in advance. When the time comes, everything is staged in the Plaza de Armas, where artisans from all the surrounding cities arrive with their creations, which show a fair that thousands of people visit. The image of the boy Manuelito, some have a face with red badges and a mischievous look. His body seems to have Indian skin and keeps his arms open as a sign of welcome. Others have sculpted tired and almost asleep; Sometimes thoughtful and smiling. There are also crawling with their heads trying to stand up, they also sell shepherds, the 3 wise men, virgins, angels. The imagery and artisans offer the most diverse figurines to brighten up the Christmas holidays and accompany the cribs or “births” that are assembled in the houses and parishes.
You can see all kinds of handmade objects such as wood carvings, ceramics and altarpieces.
The Santurantikuy fair is organized by the Municipal Company of Festejos del Cusco, EMUFEC S.A., giving it an orderly and functional sense with spaces duly marked and delimited by specialties, these being:
Decorative Ceramics, Imagery, Woodwork and tree bark, Miniatures and watermarks, Silverware, Stonework, Leatherwork, Sculpture, Paintings of the Cusco School, Manuelitos Children, Work in Dry Flowers.