In Peru there are more than three thousand parties a year. Most of the festivals and festivals in Peru are of a religious nature and go back to the colonial era, but under these celebrations many times pagan rites are underlain that fused with the catholic religion generating the colorful and originality of the festivities. In spite of this, it is still possible to attend ancestral rites of the native populations of the Peruvian jungle. A whole year of festivities full of joy and solemnity are an excellent invitation to visit Peru at any time of the year.
The festival begins on the day of the Most Holy Trinity, when more than 10,000 pilgrims ascend to the limit of perpetual snow. It reaches minimum temperatures of -4 ° C. The path is accompanied by a procession, fireworks and the symbolic market of Alacitas (fair of miniature crafts).
After five hours of walking you will arrive at the sanctuary of Mr. de Ccoylloritti, you will have to do the greeting of honor to the image of Christ the miracle in the afternoon all the comparsas make their official entry by Nations, you will see a total almost 200 comparsas giving their official greeting that lasts almost all night, accompany different dancers who symbolize various mythical characters. The -pablitos or -ucucos- who are the intermediaries between the Lord of Qoylloriti and the men and those who maintain discipline during the liturgical acts, are people dressed as bear (black suit made of thick cloth and wool, with a chullo) that they make order and peace that they also call the soldiers of the Lord.
The next day, the day of the serenade that begins with liturgical ceremonies in honor of miraculous Christ or also called peasant Christ. In the afternoon the serenade begins with a dance show parading through the atrium and interior of the sanctuary; at midnight a group of forts Queros, residents of what is perhaps the purest Quechua community in Peru, disguised as pabluchas, leaves for the summits of the snow (6,362 msnm) in search of the Star of the Snow that is enclosed in its entrails and also where the baptisms of the new dancers and judgments are done by the guards where they punish those people who have made mistakes and who already find out at the foot of the snowed place that is sent secret envelopes that up there read. Back in their communities, these strong settlers carry large ice blocks on their backs to symbolically water their lands with the sacred water of Ausangate.
The central day after doing the ritual at sunrise comes down from the snow covered caravan headed by the Calvary towards the sanctuary; hours later the central mass is carried out later the procession of Mr. de Ccoyllorritti represented by Mr. de Tayancani, concludes with the farewell of each comparsa giving chants or (Watascama) to the gentleman finally they return towards the population of Mahuayani, soon to embark to their places of origin.
The end of the procession takes place in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco with the processions of Corpus Christi, the streets and squares are full of people, music and color.
Ausangate (Awsanqati in Quechua) is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, its maximum altitude is 6,372 meters above sea level. It is located about 100 kilometers southeast of the city of Cusco.
It is located in the mountain range of the Andes, in a section denominated Cordillera de Vilcanota, corresponding to the Cusco region in Peru. Its main peak is 6,372 meters above sea level with large lagoons with a bright green / blue color.
The pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Mr. de Ccoylloritti takes place every year in the month of May or June, the date is not exact due to the Andean calendar, but it is between these two months.
The inhabitants of the district of Ocongate (Quispicanchis), in the department of Cusco, perform a ritual whose external symbol is the image of Christ, but its underlying purpose is the integration of man with nature, the people of this place are devotees of the Taytacha Qoyllur Rit'i (The Lord of the Shining Snow). This is an ancient religious custom only practiced by the inhabitants of the Andes. Every year, a few days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, each small town or clan sends a delegation of colorful dancers and pabluchas to the Chapel of the Lord of Qoyllur ritty.
The ritual, associated with the fertility of the land and the worship of the Apus (hills, tutelary gods), is part of one of the largest Native American festivals in America. The main ceremony takes place at the foot of the snow-capped Ausangate, the ritual consists of a pilgrimage of shepherds, merchants and onlookers who meet at the sanctuary of Sinakara in the village of Mawayany, at 4600 meters above sea level.
According to the belief, the Child Jesus, disguised as a shepherd, appeared to an indigenous child, Marianito Mayta, and both became friends. When the parents found them dressed in rich attire, they notified the parish priest of the place, Pedro de Landa, who tried to capture him but without success, because in the place of the Child a stone appeared. Marianito died immediately and the image of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i was fixed on the rock.
We leave the city of Cusco by private bus, and drive along the Cusco - Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3800 masl) and Mahuayani, where we will arrive by approximately 3:00 pm. On the way we will stop at Urcos, where we will visit a beautiful lake with the same name, which then pass to Cattca, an agriculture and cattle ranch of the community where we appreciate spectacular views of the region, following Ocongate, capital of the district of the same name, Tinqui, being the starting point for most of the tours in the Ausangate area, and Mahuayani last (4600 masl) after an approximate drive of 7h. In the afternoon, we take the opportunity to visit the local market, before having dinner at our nearby camp.
We woke up at 07.30 am and after our breakfast, we will start our walk to the Qoylloritti Sanctuary, located in an impressive place, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. That little by little, although an uphill walk track along which we will find 14 crosses that are venerated on the way, the last one is already in the Sanctuary. Upon arrival, they will be housed in the camp and enjoy free time in the afternoon. The visualization of the activities in the Sanctuary is impressive, as well as the number of pilgrims who attend this festival year after year. In the afternoon, we can attend the Mass in the Sanctuary, there are two ceremonies, at 06.00 or 08.00 pm Dinner and camp in the Sanctuary.
This day is spent in its totality in the Sanctuary, as a result of the activities of the pilgrims. We attended the Alacitas morning markets. This is a very curious screen in which one buys miniature products, such as trucks, houses, cattle, university degrees and others, with the money that is only valid during the festivity of Qoyllur Ritti, according to the wishes of a real one. The legend says that whatever you achieve in this game will become reality thanks to the power of the Lord of the Qoylloritty. The soul mass in the atrium of the sanctuary (10.00 am) is the next event followed by the pablitos mass at 12.00.
The afternoon is reserved for other activities, for all those who want to join them: the procession of the Lord of the Tayancani and the Virgin, various dance performances, mass in the Sanctuary at 06.00 and singing to the Lord at 07.00 . At night, after dinner, we enjoyed the spectacular The burning of castles, in which the construction of wood with fireworks are burned, followed by El baile del niño. Afterwards, the pilgrims climb the snow-covered mountain and the glaciers to bring down the crosses to the Sanctuary.
After an early awakening at 07.00, pack your bags and prepare for the pilgrimage. We hope and attend the blessing Mass at 10 a.m. and at noon, Lunch and descent to the village of Mahuayani. In the afternoon, on board our private transport back to Cusco (5h), where we hope to arrive around 6:00 p.m.