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Cusco celebrates the festival of San Sebastian

20 January 2015

The district of San Sebastian today it dresses up the January 20 of each year, 'cause represent a month of religious faith in honour to San Sebastian. This festivity was declared as Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the Cultural National Institute (in spanish INC).

Biography of San Sebastian person


San Sebastian was born in Narbona-Francia in the year 256 and died in 288; was a son of riched parents; brave soldier after he confessed being christian and was brutaly beaten by the order of Emperor Maximiano and sentenced to death with arrows. Then, his friends to still see him alive he was taken to the house of a christian nobleman named Irene, who captived hidden and curing until be restored completely. After a long time, San Sebastian will present before Emperor and he reproached his conduct by follow to the christians. Maximiano again had him scourged to death and the soldiers threw the dead body of Sebastian to a quagmire (muddy place) where he was found by some Christians who picked him up and buried on the Via Appia, in the famous catacombs which bears San Sebastián name.


San Sebastian district of Cusco City

It is said that San Sebastian came to Cusco in the seventeenth century a few years after the arrival of the Spaniards, quickly becoming the patron of the Indians.

After the construction of the first tower of the great temple of San Sebastián in 1664, there was a plague and for this reason the faithful flocked to San Sebastián, directing and producing a miracle prayers, so that thereafter the people began to grant Saint Sebastian all types of care, offerings and gifts.

Years after the earthquake of 1665 the first rector of the loan: Juan Cardenas and Céspedes sent perform with sebastiano sculptor Melchor Huaman Mayta a large image and slender pattern martyr San Sebastián, and thus the devotion and generating so spontaneous tributes and church rituals.

Feast of San Sebastian

The picture takes a walk in your party bosses San Sebastián shown attached to a shaft carrying a parrot and is pierced by four arrows of gold and silver decorated with precious stones; This image is guided by the priest, sacristan, district officials, stewards and accompanying colorful dances of the region and other areas along with his faithful devotees. The association Chargers San Sebastián, are responsible for making all this procession and an important fact is that shippers made whole procession barefoot.

How the festival takes place

On 19 January the Eve party takes place, is called triumphal entry, performed with the presence of the district authorities, income of the brotherhoods of dancers and stewards who carry gifts that were assigned to them by Carguyoc last year; these gifts are blessed by the priest.

On January 20, the main day of the festival; Mass is done in the morning, start to finish is given to the central procession is in charge of the Holy Brotherhood of San Sebastián Boots Pattern founded in 1960 with 210 members.

Octave of the Feast

It is the farewell feast of St. Sebastian made by the stewards of the central position in which it invited the guilds and collaborators, who go out dancing accompanied by the band in search of Walqanchas (present offered to the stewards and guests).

San Sebastián in Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi established in replacement of Aya Raymi, commissioned by the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo; the inhabitants of San Sebastian had an obligation to bear the image of San Sebastián to Cusco, responsibility representatives Chargers San Sebastián and guides in coordination with the most outstanding willful or families entrusted.

Over time Karguyoq are born, people permanently responsible for the care, attention and organization of the festival in honor of San Sebastián were made.

Thus the party went from being a tribute made by families to be a responsibility of the whole people.

Before the feast lasted nine days and the route of the procession was only through the main streets of Cusco.

A few years ago, the entrance to Corpus Christi takes place the day before, where residents of each district San Sebastián Patron lead to the Cathedral of Cusco to the central day where its tour with the other saints before returning to the Cathedral and return to the Church after seven days, accompanied by dancers and floats.

Many tourists who comes to visit Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, Cusco, Choquequirao advantage and give a break to visit this festival

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