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Corpus Christi on May 25th & 26th in Cusco city

01 April 2016

The Feast of "Corpus Christi" figures prominently in the festive calendar of the city (May or movable June - nine weeks after Easter), is one of the most lavish religious festivals of Cusco so for this occasion the city It is very popular with people coming from other confines. The origin of this festival dates back to 1247, when San Miguel de Liege (Belgium) was held for the first time. "Corpus Christi" means "Body of Christ" and was instituted to solemnly commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist, which in turn represents the Body of Christ; should take place next Thursday at the octave of Pentecost, that is, the day following the feast of the Holy Trinity Thursdays; This day becomes on Thursday, counting nine weeks after Holy Thursday. It was established in this area of ​​the Andes after 1533 but officially established in Qosqo by Viceroy Toledo in 1572, with its famous "Ordinances".

In ancient times there were important feasts in each month of the year; the Inkario was characterized by an agricultural, quiet and relatively harmonious society that had parties related to their core business and their ancestral deities. Clearly the biggest party of Inkario was the "Inti Raymi" or "Fiesta del Sol", carried out exactly in the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, ie on 21 June each year. It was a religious celebration developed in the main square of the city in honor of the "Tayta Inti" or "Father Sun" and in the presence of the "mallki" of all his children, ie in the presence of the mummies of all the Incas or Kings Tawantinsuyo, and other ancestors. The mummies were carried in procession richly adorned with many jewels and ornaments on a litter or special bunks made of precious metals (the cult of the "mallki" became known as "Onqoy Mita"); after the religious ceremony, a festoon had with plenty of food, drink and dance in another sector of the Plaza.


Today, the festival is important in ordinary people living in the jurisdiction of the different parishes of Qosqo; Preparations begin with weeks and even months in advance for which there is a traditional organization led by Butler ( "carguyoq") is the person who accepts the position, responsibility and obligation to pay most of the costs of the festival which among others includes masses, new dress for the Virgin or the Holy Parish, the contract with a band ( "q'aperos") to accompany the procession, a typical orchestra for the holiday celebration, food guests, brandy, chicha and beer, reminders, etc. In many cases the costs are shared with other people who were committed to do so by "hurk'a", ie, the system whereby visiting a person with loaves of huge wheat as gifts for by accepting purchase commitment to donate or pay something for the party.

On Wednesday a pre-Corpus Christi day the "entrance" of the images coming out in procession from their parishes accompanied the priest, neighbors, butlers carrying chest "claims" that are distinctive or banners sometimes performed silver with the image of the Holy Virgin or to go to the Cathedral where the image to be deposited until the next day when the main procession takes place. In this "entry" of saints is celebrated and spectacular "career" undertaking San Sebastian and San Jeronimo to try to get first to the Cathedral of the city; Early morning part the image of Saint Jerome from the district of the same distant name about 10 Kms. in the district of San Sebastián about 5 Kms. the image of people already on the track, and thus the arrival of the other image a crazy race begins Av. de la Cultura to the Plaza de Armas.

In the Plaza de Armas have risen quite large altars adorned with mirrors, flags, flowers, tree branches, some images, etc .; once, those altars were more numerous and showy, adorned with silver frontals, Cusco School paintings of images in bulk, etc. On this day, near the Plaza de Armas many traders have placed their stands of typical food for those attending the "input", which serves the traditional "Chiri Uchu" or "Aji Frio" consisting of small pieces of roasted guinea pig, chicken, ch'arki, sausages, cau-cau, cheese, corn flour fritters, roasted corn, qocha-yuyo and rocoto; other stands also serve pork rinds, kebabs, etc .; and of course beer and chicha. After the entrance of images to the Cathedral, the people will unleash their gastronomic tastes and thirst for alcohol.

The main day of Corpus Christi is seen much activity since the early hours of the morning; inside the cathedral many Masses for various Saints and Virgin are celebrated, at about 10:30 a.m., the Archbishop of the city celebrates a Pontifical Mass and Te Deum, after which it will start the procession. Float procession presided Silver also known as PA or Baldaquino in the central portion holds the golden sun of the Custody which in turn represents the Blessed Sacrament, which remains in front of the Archbishop of knees. The Temple was ordered to be built by Bishop Fray Bernardo de Serrada in 1733 using part of a legacy of Dr. Francisco de Goyzueta Maldonado, has its cedar wood frame and covered with embossed silver plates; today in procession on a motor vehicle; They follow behind the city authorities, delegations from various institutions and schools, etc.

After the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, about noon, it begins with the procession of saints and virgins in the Plaza de Armas where you may have gathered about 50 or 60 thousand people. The tradition has an established order for the procession from the time of the colony, so that the starting order of the images is as follows:

1. San Antonio parish of San Cristobal;
2. St. Jerome's parish district of San Jeronimo;
3. San Cristobal parish of San Cristobal;
4. San Sebastian parish in the district of San Sebastian;
5. Santa Barbara parish district Poroy;
6. Santa Ana parish of Santa Ana;
7. Santiago Apostle Parish Santiago;
8. San Blas parish of San Blas;
9. St. Peter's parish of San Pedro;
10. St. Joseph's parish of Bethlehem;
11. Virgin Nativity Parish Almudena;
12.- Virgen de los Remedios church of Santa Catalina;
13.- Purified Virgin parish of San Pedro;
14. Our Lady of Bethlehem in the parish of Bethlehem;
15. Virgin of the Immaculate Conception also called "La Linda" Cathedral.

After the procession of images, these are stored inside the Cathedral where they remain until the "eighth", ie up to eight days after Corpus Christi. The day of the "eighth" starts with another procession of the Blessed Sacrament followed by the various Saints and Virgins to return to their home parishes once the procession. Already in the parish of the image, in the effervescence of the party and in the midst of the hubbub with music and alcohol, the new butler or "carguyoq" undertake, ie the person who defray the costs of the festival for the next year.

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