The best way to become involved in the culture of Cusco is to understand and experience some of the frequent religious celebrations held in the city and throughout the region. Cusco is known as one of the cities with the most celebrations linking the past and the present.
Ancient Inca traditions, together with more modern ones established by the Spanish conquerors during colonial times, make Cusco’s celebrations unique.
Travelers can find many celebrations in Cusco on certain dates. Among the most important of these are Inti Raymi (June 24), Corpus Christi (May-June), Santurantikuy (December 24), All Souls’ Day (November 1?) and, lastly, All Saints’ Day (November 2?). All Saints’ Day (November 1) and, lastly, All Souls’ Day (November 2)*
November 1 – All Saints’ Day Celebration in Cusco
On this day, families gather together and assemble an altar with their deceased loved ones’ favorite foods and beverages. According to tradition, on November 1 at noon, the deceased return from the beyond to visit their relatives and to see if they are still remembered in the world of the living.
Hope in the afterlife is what makes relatives of the dead continue their tradition of gathering every year to celebrate All Saints’ Day.
November 2 – All Souls’ Day in Cusco
This is the day when cemeteries in Cusco and throughout the region are filled with relatives and friends of those who are no longer living.
Throughout All Souls’ Day, visitors to the cemeteries of Cusco bring flowers, food, beverages, and even clothes to the graves in memory of the deceased.
In Cusco, groups of relatives of the deceased can be seen eating and drinking near the graves of their loved ones to honor them on All Souls’ Day.
Halloween in Cusco
Cultural syncretism arose not only in colonial times; it continues to be seen in the noteworthy influence of other cultures. As a cosmopolitan tourist hub, the city of Cusco has not escaped this influence.
These days, on October 31, one can see children and teenagers in costumes celebrating Halloween on the streets of Cusco. Every year, the city of Cusco gets into the Halloween spirit!
Visiting the city at this time of year is worthwhile and very entertaining. Once the Halloween celebrations are over in Cusco, the city’s residents return home to continue with their traditions on November 1 and 2.
All Saints’ Day 1 de noviembre
All Souls’ Day 2 de noviembre