The main celebration of the Cuzco Carnival takes place in the Plaza de Armas where every institution presents the very best of the local dances. On Sunday young people prepare themselves to celebrate the Cuzco Carnival with water, streamers, talcum powder and dances while the women buy all the necessary ingredients to cook the “Timpu” and other Peruvian typical dishes.
The Inca’s culture survives through the chants and dances during the Carnival, and the European elements serve as a complement for a new form of expression. The Quechuas have a long tradition in Carnivals, it is a way of highlighting their race and worship Earth, fertility and love through a series of joyful and colorful choreographies.
The party is carried out in the different districts and provinces in the Department of Cuzco, especially in the “Inca Sacred Valley” (Urubamba, Pisaq, Lamay, Yanahuara, Qoya, Calca, etc.) and the “South Valley” (Oropesa, San Jerónimo and Chanchis, where we can still appreciate the famous Ink Carnival)
The “Yunzas” are also a classic in the Cuzco Carnival celebrations, it is a couple dance around a tree where each one of the participants beats it with an axe until it falls down. Some put gifts and surprises inside the tree so as the dancers can take them as an award.
The “Comadres and Compadres” (close friends) festivity.
Two weeks before the traditional party, on Thursdays the “Comadres” and “Compadres“ are celebrated. The first Thursday the women from Cuzco visits their “Compadres” and give them presents, the second Thursday is the turn for the men to do the same with their “Comadres“. The day before in some of the Cuzco’s neighborhoods people use to make puppets with some of their neighbors features and hang them from a post or sit them in a chair in the middle of the street to make fun of.
The typical Carnival dish shared during this “Compadres” party is called Timpu (or T’impu). The Timpu is delicious classic dish of the Cuzco cuisine prepared for this occasion. It is made of lamb meat broth, cabbage, peaches, potatoes, rice, chickpeas, “chalona” (a sort of salted, dried and smoked lamb meat), onions and chili.
The typical regional dances and food are two experiences that you cannot miss. Prepare your cameras to take the best pictures of Cuzco during the Carnival!