This Year's Events at the Virgin of Candelaria Festival in Puno

It's being estimated that more than 30 thousand foreign and domestic travelers will visit Puno this year to take part in one of South America's most sensational festivals, the Virgin of Candelaria Festival, which takes place the first two weeks of February each year.

The history of Puno goes back more than a millennia (its famed Floating Islands of Uros are home to what is perhaps the oldest living culture in the Americas). Spectators at the Virgin of Candelaria festival have the unique opportunity to witness hundreds of folkloric dances from different stages of this history: pre-Columbian dances from the Aymara and Quechua cultures, colonial mestizo dances with Spanish and African influences.

Arrangements for the massive event are well underway. Yesterday, Puno's Queen of Folklore was crowned, one of the events which kickstarts the weeks of festivities for the Virgin of Candelaria. The first large event will be the Entrance of the K'apus this Feb 1st, for which provincial governors from all over the Puno region are now preparing. The event is Peru's largest cultural manifestation, showcasing the wealth of music and dance styles in the country's folkloric capital.

More than 40 thousand dancers and 5 thousand musicians will take part in the festival's competitions and parades, the largest of which are listed here:

Candelaria Festival 2014: The Schedule

Jan 23rd  

The Queen of Folklore is crowned at the Coliseo Cerrado

Feb 1st    

12pm: Entrance of the K'apos, followed by ritual offering to the Pachamama

5pm: Procession of the Virgin of Candelaria (from San Juan Bautisa Sanctuary to Puno's Cathedral), followed by fireworks and festivities

Feb 2nd (Main Day)   

7am Indigenous Dance Contest at Estadio Enrique Torres Belón

2pm Main Parade, featuring Indigenous Dances by each of the rural countryside communities

Feb 8th   (eve of the Octava)

7pm Evening mass at the Sanctuary of the Virgen of Candelaria, followed by fireworks and dances

Feb 9th (the Octava)

7am Mestizo Dance Contest (Colonial & Republican era dances performed in traces de luces, bullfighters' dress)

2pm Parade, featuring Mestizo Dances by the barrios of Puno city proper

Feb 10th

8am Mestizo dance groups will perform in front of the church and through the city streets

Feb 11th   

Musical bands outdoor concert

Feb 12th   

Parade of Sicuris and Zampoñas (Andean panpipers)

Inca World Team
Publication date: 24 Ene 2014
Sources: <a href="">Carla Colon</a>

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