February Carnival Month in Peru
February is Carnival month in Peru. I’ve been in Arequipa since the 12th and each day have noticed more and more fun Carnival activities – parades, public entertainment events, and a fantastic Valentine’s Day celebration. Puno, Lake Titicaca, and the Uros Islands are the next stop. Sadly I missed Puno’s Virgen de la Candelaria Festival, one of the most colorful Peruvian Carnivals.
Virgen de la Candelaria Festival
In Spain, the Virgin of Candelaria celebrates the Virgin Mary – patron saint of the Canary Islands – on the island of Tenerife. In Peru, they celebrate her feast on the shores of Lake Titicaca for eighteen days.
During Carnival at an altitude of 3,870 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level, Puno becomes the Folk Capital of the Americas. Musicians and dancers gather to celebrate and perform.
“The Our Lady of Candelaria festival is linked to the pre-Hispanic agricultural cycles of sowing and harvesting, as well as mining activities in the region. It’s the result of a blend of respectful Aymara gaiety and ancestral Quechua seriousness.”
Sick in Arequipa
I’m recovering from traveler’s GI issues so everything, including the Colca Canyon trek, is on hold. It’s a bummer. Not sure how much longer recovery will take but Arequipa is as good a place as any to be sick. Hoping to get out and about a bit today. Last night Carnival cannons and fireworks went off well into the night and started up again early this morning.
Another interesting celebration that made a big impact during my travels was TET (Lunar New Year) in Viet Nam a few years ago. TET celebrations are now in process throughout the world. In Viet Nam, everything comes to a standstill for TET, and it has a colossal impact on the people. Carnival is South America’s TET!