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The feast of the Virgin of Candelaria is one of the most important and popular religious celebrations in Peru. It takes place every year in February and is a sample of the rich culture and traditions that exist in the country.

While Traveling and discovering new festivals in Peru like the Virgin of Candelaria, you may need to use one of our mobile phone plans for tourists to have a tourist SIM card. In order to understand and find new adventures, here in PeruSIM

That is why here we present  everything you need to know about the  Festival so you don’t miss this opportunity on your travel to Peru :

Origins and history of the festivity

The festivity of the Virgin of Candelaria has its origins in Peru’s colonial times, when the Spaniards brought the image of the Virgin Mary under the patronage of Candelaria. The image was venerated by the Spanish settlers and by the local indigenous people, who identified with her because of their own devotion to the Pachamama or Mother Earth.

Over time, the festivity of the Virgen de la Candelaria became a sample of the mixture of religious and cultural traditions of the Spaniards and the local indigenous people. Today, it is considered one of the most important celebrations of Peruvian culture and is recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Characteristics of the festivity

The festivity of the Virgin of Candelaria is characterized by its impressive parades of dance, music and color, which fill the streets of the city of Puno, in southern Peru. Dance is an integral part of the festivity and is composed of diverse styles and rhythms representing different cultures and ethnic groups of the region.

The festivity is celebrated in the Puno region, in the Collao plateau, where local people keep the tradition alive. The festivity takes place during the first fortnight of February, coinciding with the feast of Candelaria.

How to get to Puno from Lima

Puno is a city located in southern Peru, near the border with Bolivia. If you want to visit this city from Lima, you have several transportation options. Here are some of the most common options:

Plane

The fastest way to get to Puno from Lima is by plane. The city of Puno has a small airport, which receives daily flights from Lima and other cities in Peru. The flight from Lima to Puno takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Bus 

Another option to get to Puno from Lima is by bus. There are several bus companies offering this service, with daily departures from Lima. The bus trip from Lima to Puno takes approximately 20 hours, making it a more economical, but also longer option.

Train

If you want a more scenic experience, you can also take the train from Cusco to Puno. This is a spectacular journey through the Peruvian Andes and offers breathtaking views of the region’s landscapes. The train departs from Cusco and takes approximately 10 hours to reach Puno.

In general, the plane option is the fastest, while the bus is the most economical option. If you want to enjoy a more scenic trip, the train is an excellent option.

Whichever option you choose, it is important to make reservations in advance and make sure you have the necessary documents, such as passport or identification, as appropriate.

Why the festivity is celebrated

The festivity of the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated in honor of the Virgin Mary under the invocation of Candelaria. The inhabitants of the Puno region revere her as their patron saint and the festivity is a way to honor her and thank her for her blessings.

What is done in the festival

During the festival of the Virgin of Candelaria, impressive parades of dance, music and color take place. The dancers and musicians represent different cultures and ethnic groups of the region and wear elaborate costumes and impressive masks.

In addition to the parades, there are also dance and music competitions, in which participants demonstrate their skills and talents. Religious ceremonies are also held in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria.

How to participate in the festivity

If you wish to participate in the festivity of the Virgen de la Candelaria, it is best to visit the Puno region during the first half of February. During the festivity, the city of Puno fills with visitors from all over the world, so it is important to book in advance.

Visitors can enjoy parades, music and dance, and can also join in the celebrations by participating in religious ceremonies or dance and music competitions.

Finally, we know that you have to keep communication with your relatives and friends, that you need to be able to orient yourself in new cities, that you might need help with translation and that you might need to search for restaurants or hotels. That’s why with PeruSIM you can buy a SIM card including the data plan of your need without having to worry about high roaming costs.