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The Celebration of San Jeronimo in Cusco
The Celebration of San Jeronimo in Cusco, Peru is held in honour of San Jeronimo (or San Geronimo, or Saint Jerome) who is the patron saint of lawyers and tour guides. The celebration officially begins on the 28th September, when the feast commences. The festivities continue throughout the following week, with dancing troupes, processions, celebrations and lots of eating including, as always, Chiriuchu, a very popular Peruvian dish and Cusco speciality, and a lot of beer drinking. One of the main feasts takes place in San Jeronimo, which is a district of the city of Cusco. Like many other traditional festivals in Cusco, the Corpus of San Jeronimo attracts visitors from all over the city and beyond, with many making the journey from other cities in Peru to attend.
One of the highlights of this festival is the carrying of the statue of statue of San Jeronimo from Cusco Cathedral, to his resting place in the parish. This ceremony takes place one week after the feast of Corpus Christi.
As part of the festival a fair is held where madres, or vendors, erect stands and sell dishes of Chiriuchu to revellers, all cooked in different styles. There are other stands selling anticuchos, or stewed, skewered meat, beer, and many other delicacies such as chicharron and lechón for the assorted guests.
When the dancing begins, the comparsas, or dance troupes, peform their dances in succession, parading their costumes and moving energetically to the music. As the effigy of San Jeronimo is carried through the streets, the dancers accompany him. Much of the food is prepared in very large pots for consumption by the performers – not surprising, as the dances are very energetic!
The musicians who play in accompaniment to the dancers are called Caperos. These groups of musicians play a variety of instruments including cymbals, drums and trumpets, and they are crucial to the celebration, their rhythms and music keeping everything going.
The official day of the celebration of the Corpus of San Jeronimo is 30 September. The feast officially ends on the 8th day.
Do you want to experience this remarkable festival? Viventura and Culture Xplorers have teamed up to offer a fantastic new trip to Peru with a strong focus on culture and tradition. Active Adventures into the Cultural Heart of Peru takes in the festival of the Corpus of San Jeromino in Cusco and much more. Click here to find out more, or contact us now by email or telephone:
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