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Holidays & Events in Peru
January
Marinera Festival

Held in the major coastal city of Trujillo in the Gran Chimú stadium, this 10-day event features the most important marinera festival in Peru. The marinera is a dance competition for couples organized by the Club Libertad and also features processions of floats.

February
Virgen de la Candelaria

Held in the southern town of Puno, this 18-day festival attracts over 200 groups of musicians and dancers for the celebration of the Mamacha Candelaria. The first nine days of the festival involve banquets and fireworks displays, while the music and dancing takes place in the second half. The most important part is the virgin procession through the town.
Carnival in Cajamarca
This month-long carnival features a series of masked parades, festivals and parties, as well as the tradition of dancing around a tree known as the yunza. During the dancing festivities, couples hack at the tree with axes and whichever couple fells it must plan the following year’s yunza.

March
Easter Week in Ayacucho

Re-enactments of Christ’s last days on Earth can be seen with the parading of the Virgin Mary and Saint John and the candle-lit procession of Christ. This is followed by the resurrection later in the week.

April
Caballos de Paso

The mid-April Caballos de Paso in Lima is the National contest of the Peruvian stepping horse, with horse breeders from all over Peru laying on some fantastic shows.

May
Festival of the Crosses

Taking place all over the highlands region, the Festival of the Crosses is a celebration giving thanks for bountiful harvests which stretches back for centuries. The crosses of each community are decorated and lead through the streets to neighboring churches.

June
San Juan

Literally meaning St John the Baptist's day, San Juan is held all over the Peruvian jungle region celebrating the importance of water in the Amazon region. Iquitos sees the biggest celebrations marking the festival, which takes place on June 24 and features many public events with much food and music.

July
Feast of the Virgen del Carmen

Held in the colonial town of Paucartambo, four hours from Cusco, the feast honors the area’s patron and involves musicians, singers and dancers in the town and on housetops. The procession scares away the demons, concluding at the cemetery.

September
Festivity of the Virgin of Cocharcas

This is a six-day event held in Junin and features folklore shows, fairs, dancing and bullfights to worship the Virgin of Cocharcas Patroness of all Mantaro Valley.

October
The Lord of Miracles Procession

The Lord of Miracles Procession is a ten-day event in Lima and the largest religious procession in the Americas. The procession involves the showing of the black Christ that was painted on a church wall and survived the earthquake of 1746. The bullfight season also kicks-off at this time as a mark of respect.

November
All Saints Day and Day of the Dead

Dedicated to the memory of the dead, All Saints Day and Day of the Dead see Peruvians honoring the dead with Mass, the bringing of flowers to the cemetery and sharing food with the dead. This tradition stems back to pre-Hispanic times in Peru.

December
Santuranticuy Holiday

Held on December 24, the Santuranticuy Holiday is one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in Peru. The fair dates back to the Vice-regency and is held in the main square in Cuzco. Artisans sell their figurines, arts and crafts, and pottery. Ponche is served during the chilly evenings of the fair; this is a hot and sweet rum punch.
Dates 2011 Occasion
January 1st New Year's Eve Año Nuevo
April (First Thursday) Holy Week (Maundy Thursday) Semana Santa
April (First Friday) Holy Week (Good Friday) Semana Santa
May 1st Labour Day Día del trabajo
June 29th Saint Peter and Saint Paul's Day Día de San Pedro y San Pablo
July 28th and 29th Anniversary of Peru (Independence Day Celebrations) Fiestas Patrias
August 30th Santa Rosa de Lima's Festivity Fiesta de Santa Rosa
October 8th Naval Anniversary "Battle of Angamos" Combate de Angamos
November 1st All Saints Day Fiesta "Todos los Santos"
December 8th Immaculate Heart of Mary Festivity Fiesta del Inmaculado Corazón de María
December 24th Christmas Eve (half day) Víspera de Navidad
December 25th Christmas Day Fiesta de Navidad

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