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There are plenty of festival to choose from when in Cusco. The Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) is officially June 24, but celebrations go on for days before and afterward, with Inca folk dancing, gigantic parades, and vibrant costumes.
Easter Week (Semana Santa) takes place in March or April, depending on the year. This traditional, religious celebration includes several processions through the streets, with the biggest one led by the Lord of Earthquakes on Easter Monday. Stands offering traditional Easter dishes line the streets on Good Friday.
The Festival of the Crosses (Fiesta de las Cruces) happens in May. Large crosses are decorated and delivered to churches, and crucifix vigils take place on the hilltops. Dancing and festivities offer thanks for the harvest.
Ausangate is the site of the traditional festival of Ccoyllor Ritty (‘star of the snow’), held in late May or early June each year. Taking place over 4 days, the hike to Ccoyllor Ritty (also known as Qoyllur Riti) is itself a pilgrimage trek, and the non-stop music, dance and elaborate costumes add to the other-worldly feel of the festival.
Every May or June is the Festival of the Beer, with local and international artists and musicians. People from all over Peru flock to the Garden of the Beer of Cusco on Culture Avenue for three days of festivities.
Corpus Christi in June brings more religious parades that feature 15 effigies of saints. There are festivities at the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral, which displays the effigies.
The Virgen del Carmen festivities happen in Paucartambo, Pisac and Huarocondo during the month of July.
The Santuranticuy Festival in December may be the biggest crafts fair in the country. Hundreds of artists display their work in the Plaza de Armas, including saint’s images, ceramics, Nativity figures, and altars.