The feast of Corpus Christi takes place in June. (the date is movable).
The “Corpus Christi Cusqueño” is the most important religious festival in Cusco. Although this date is always Thursday, the party begins a day earlier with the traditional “beginnings”.
On Wednesday (the day before Corpus Christi) begins with the visit of the saints to the cathedral of the city, accompanied by butlers, faithful, bands of musicians and dances.
On the central day the lavish procession of the fifteen images of saints and virgins from the parishes of Cusco is made. The procession heads the silver float that transports custody.
After seven days (the eighth), the saints return in procession to their places of origin, where they will remain for the rest of the year.
When the Spaniards arrived in Cusco, they were surprised to learn that the Incas took out their mummies in procession; then, the solution of the missionaries who accompanied the invaders was very simple: they replaced the venerated remains, with images of the virgin and the Catholic saints. Thus was born Corpus Christi in the ancient capital of Tawantinsuyo, a Catholic celebration that was impregnated with Andean nuances.
On this day, near the Plaza de Armas, many merchants assemble their typical food stores for attendees, where the traditional “Chiri Uchu” (cold food) is served, consisting of small pieces of roasted guinea pig, chicken, ch’arki, sausages, cau-cau, cheese, cornmeal toast, roasted corn, qocha-yuyo and rocoto; Other stands also serve chicharrones (well fried pork), anticuchos, etc .; and of course beer and chicha. After the entrance of the images to the Cathedral, the town gives free rein to its gastronomic tastes and its thirst for alcohol.
At noon, it begins with the procession of Saints and Virgins in the Plaza de Armas where thousands of people have gathered. There is an established order for the procession from the time of the colony, so that the order of output of the images is as follows:
1.- San Antonio of the parish of San Cristóbal
2.- San Jerónimo of the parish of the district of San Jerónimo
3.- San Cristóbal of the parish of San Cristóbal
4.- San Sebastián of the parish of the district of San Sebastián
5.- Santa Barbara from the parish of the Poroy district
6.- Santa Ana of the parish of Santa Ana
7.- Santiago Apostle of the parish of Santiago
8.- San Blas of the parish of San Blas
9.- Saint Peter of the parish of Saint Peter
10.- Saint Joseph of the parish of Bethlehem
11.- Virgin of the Nativity of the parish of Almudena
12.- Virgin of the Remedies of the church of Santa Catalina
13.- Purified Virgin of the parish of San Pedro
14.- Virgin of Bethlehem of the parish of Bethlehem
15.- Virgin of the Immaculate Conception also called “La Linda” of the Cathedral.
After the procession of images, these are stored inside the Cathedral where they will remain until the “eighth”, that is, up to eight days after Corpus Christi. The day of the “eighth” begins with another procession of the Blessed Sacrament followed by the various Saints and Virgins who will return to their parishes of origin. Once the procession is finished and in the parish of the image, the new butler or “carguyoq” will be committed, that is to say to the person who will pay the expenses of the holiday for next year.