Corpus Christi in Cusco

Corpus Christi in Cusco Corpus Christi in Cusco Corpus Christi in Cusco is a religious festivity of great tradition in the imperial city. Its celebration takes place on Thursday June 8, 2023. There are...

Corpus Christi in Cusco

Corpus Christi in Cusco

Corpus Christi in Cusco is a religious festivity of great tradition in the imperial city. Its celebration takes place on Thursday June 8, 2023. There are 15 saints that with processions each one leaves their temple to make a tour and a visit to the Plaza Mayor of Cusco as it houses traditions and customs of the native peoples in one place and you can appreciate such a beautiful spectacle that amazes both visitors and locals.

History of Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi festivity in Peru began to be celebrated with the arrival of the Spaniards to Cusco in the XVI century. The Spaniards were astonished to witness how the children of the sun exhibited Inca mummies in procession. That is how the gospels decided to complete forever with the pagan tradition. Preachers began to replace the venerated remains with Catholic saints. Thus was born and grew Corpus Christi in the ancient capital of Tawantinsuyo, a Catholic celebration that was enriched with influences from Andean traditions.

However, the Spaniards were surprised by what they witnessed and took advantage of the festivity as part of their “evangelization” process. As a result, in 1572 it was decided to substitute the procession of mummies for the procession of the 15 saints and virgins, giving rise to what is now known as the Corpus Christi of Cusco.


This celebration has, apart from its religious component, a competitive aspect between different neighborhoods or parishes. Each of them is accompanied by their own bands and groups of musicians, who perform their characteristic music in contrast to the others, giving life to their traditional festivity.
At 11:00 a.m., the procession starts around the main square. People gather to witness the appearance of the saints, who parade in strict order.

1.Saint Antonio of the parish of Saint Cristobal.

2.Saint Jeronimo of the parish of the district of Jeronimo.

3.Saint Cristóbal of the parish or church of San Cristóbal.

4.Saint Sebastian of the parish of the San Sebastian district.

5.Saint Barbara of the parish of the Poroy district.

6. Saint Ana of the parish or church of Saint Ana

7.Santiago Apostle of the parish of Santiago.

8.Saint Blas of the parish of Saint Blas.

9. Saint Pedro of the parish of Saint Pedro

10. Saint José of the parish of Saint José

11.Virgin of the Natividad of the parish of Almudena.

12.Virgin of the Remedios of the Santa Catalina Church

13. Purified Virgin of the parish of San Pedro

14. Virgin of Belén of the parish of Belén

15. Virgin of the Immaculate Conception also called the beautiful one of the Basilica of the Cathedral

How is Corpus Christi celebrated in Cusco?

The Corpus Christi Cusqueño is a religious commemoration that takes place in the city of Cusco, Peru. This festivity fuses elements of Catholic tradition with Andean influences, resulting in a vibrant and unique event. Below, I will provide you with some highlights on how this celebration is carried out:


During Corpus Christi, solemn processions are held in the streets of Cusco. These processions are led by a sacred image of Christ and are followed by a multitude of the faithful dressed in traditional costumes. The streets are decorated with carpets of flowers and artistic elements, creating a festive and colorful atmosphere.

Masses and ceremonies:

Special masses are celebrated in the Cathedral of Cusco and in other churches of the city. These religious ceremonies are moments of fervor and devotion, where the faithful express their faith and worship.

Dances and music:

Music and dance are integral parts of the Corpus Christi festivity in Cusco. Groups of dancers, dressed in traditional costumes and elaborate masks, perform folkloric dances in the plazas and streets of the city. Drums, flutes and other Andean instruments create a lively and festive melody.

Flower carpets:

An outstanding feature of Corpus Christi in Cusco is the carpets of flowers that are created in the streets through which the procession will pass. Locals use a wide variety of flowers and colored petals to design intricate patterns and religious motifs on the ground. These colorful carpets are trampled during the procession, symbolizing the transience of life.

Traditional gastronomy:

During Corpus Christi, traditional dishes are prepared and festive meals are shared. Among the most popular dishes are chiriuchu (a variety of meats and side dishes), cuy (guinea pig) and chicha (fermented corn drink).

Octave of Corpus Christi:

The event in which the 15 saints parade around the main square is known as “la octava”. The procession usually begins after lunch, around 2:00 pm, and concludes at approximately 7:00 pm.

Descent of saints:

In general, the return of the sacred images to their churches or temples usually takes place the day after the octave. However, some saints follow a different protocol, as is the case of the Virgin of Bethlehem.


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