Semana Santa (Holy Week) is here, and it’s kind of a big deal in Latin America. It’s a very busy week, from Palm Sunday all the way up to Easter Sunday. In the Peruvian city of Cusco, Holy Monday is one of the most important days of the year. This day features the procession of El Señor de los Temblores (The Lord of the Earthquakes).
Learn about this important procession and the reason behind it in this short video:
“One of the most important days of the year in Cusco is the Monday before Easter. In the Cusco Cathedral, there is a famous statue of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is believed that this image of Christ saved the city from complete destruction during a massive earthquake in the year 1650. That’s why it is known as El Señor de los Temblores (The Lord of the Earthquakes). It is also the patron saint of Cusco. Throughout the day, people throw red ñucchu flowers which resemble the blood of Christ. The black color is due to the buildup of soot from oil lamps and candles over the years.
In the afternoon on Holy Monday, the statue is removed from the church to be paraded around the town in a huge procession. A group of about 30 men carry the statue and are followed by a band, military personnel and religious officials. Eventually, the procession leaves the Plaza de Armas.
The next stop is the San Francisco Plaza. This is a big holiday in Cusco, and the atmosphere is very festive. It seems as if the whole town comes out for the procession. There’s a lively street market nearby as well, where just about everyone is selling empanadas covered in sprinkles that are a special treat for Semana Santa.
In the evening, the crowd is much bigger. The main plaza is absolutely packed as everyone tries to find a spot to see the end of the procession. Your best bet is to head to one of the many balconies around the square to take it in from above. Eventually, the statue makes its way back to the cathedral, wrapping up one of the most important days in Cusco.”
About the Author:sasha
Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.
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