Tomorrow Thursday May 30th is the procession of the 15 saints and virgins around the Plaza de Armas of Cusco as part of the main day of the Corpus Christi festivity.

The Entrance:

However, this religious event started last week when the Virgen Belén and San José went to the church of Santa Clara where they have been waiting for the others til today Wednesday 29.

San Jerónimo is the first to arrive and enter to the church backwards. The others wait outside til the moment they go in a procession to the cathedral around 1pm (this is known as the “entrada” (entrance).

Santa Barbara
San Cristobal

Each saint and virgin has its own musicians, dancers and teenagers who carry the “anda“, kind of table where the image stands, as you can see in the next pictures:

Altars of Mirrors (Altares de Espejos):

During Corpus Christi locals always build Wiracocha altars in front of the Cathedral as well as the Compañia de Jesús church (I guess I have seen them in other religious events too).

I have read that these Altar de Espejos tradition was born in Spain. There is news that they were first built for the Corpus Christi of 1542.

Altar of Mirror at the Cathedral
Altar of Mirror at the Compañia de Jesus
Detail of an Altar of Mirror

Chiriuchu and Much More:

In Peru, a feast without food is not a feast. Corpus Christi is not an exception and today Wednesday 29, tomorrow as well as next Thursday June 6th the main dish is Chiriuchu or LLachuayuchu.

Chiri means spicy and uchu means cold and it consists of different meats such as hen, guinea pig, sausage, cured meat and tullan or huaraca (sausage made of guinea pig). It is also served with cancha (toasted corn), cochayuyo or qochayuyua (seaweed), cau cau (fish egg) and tortilla made of corn.

The main point to enjoy this dish is San Francisco square for just S/20.

Chiriuchu at the Plaza San Francisco

Around the San Pedro market there is another fair where you can eat chicharrones, nabo, and solterito. You can also buy fruits as coconut, date, chirimoya, tamarindo, achira, and sugar cane.

Chicharrones at San Pedro
datil or date


Enjoy this Corpus Christi 2013. It is important to bear in mind that this feast is held in May or June.

The last day of this festivity is next Thursday June 6th where all the saints and virgins say farewell until next year. This day is known as the “Octava” because it happens eight days after the main procession.

You may want to read these posts too:

Around the streets of Cusco

Llamas, vicuñas and more

A glimpse of Cusco food