Holy Week in Cusco is celebrated between the second half of March to the second week of April. (the date is movable).
Holy Week is one of the most important events in the Christian world, when the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is commemorated in every corner of the Catholic world. The party in Cusco begins with the “Palm Sunday”, where the faithful attend the different parishes of the city carrying palm leaves and woven crosses of the same plant, which are blessed in the Eucharistic celebrations of the different city churches; then take these palms to the houses and place them behind the doors, as a symbol of home protection.
The central day is Holy Monday (the day after Palm Sunday) date on which the Sworn Pattern of Cusco, the Lord of the earthquakes, leaves in procession.
Holy Friday, unlike what happens in other places, is not abstinence in Cusco. The custom is to taste twelve different typical dishes that range from various soups and stews, based on dried fish, wheat and olluco, to delicious desserts such as apple, corn or corn sweets.
Holy Week comes to an end on Easter Sunday. After the procession and the celebration of the Mass, the exquisite aroma of the delicacies that delight themselves and strangers, such as the tasty chicken broth, the empanadas, the white corn candy, the tamales and the ones, are perceived through the main streets cakes Thus, in pagan form, Andean Holy Week is closed.
The Archaeological Capital of America celebrates Holy Week by worshiping the image of the Lord of the Earthquakes.
According to some sources, the story of this Christ goes back to when Emperor Charles V sent the effigy to Cusco, made especially for the Indians, copying the “sharp features” of them.
The Cathedral of Cusco has in its room this legendary image of the “Lord of the Earthquakes.”
But it was May 31, 1650, an earthquake struck the city, breaking down many houses and churches. It was then that a miracle occurred for many Indians, lords, slaves and mestizos all mixed to worship and ask for protection from the Christ of the Earthquakes.
The body acquired that blackened tone by the contact of the smoke that was expanding from the candles that the believers placed in their chapel inside the cathedral.
Since that time, this mestizo Christ goes out in procession every Holy Monday, followed by a multitude of parishioners who accompany him with humble fervor. In the windows of the houses, where the effigy passes, refined pieces of velvety upholstery with golden stripes, fabrics and bright carpets are placed, which families reserve especially for this occasion.