Festival de la Candelaria – Carnival in Puno
Next Date: Saturday, 02 February 2019
Often referred to as the folkloric capital of Peru, Puno hosts the largest cultural festival with parades, music and dance performances, traditional costumes and lots of other activities each year at the beginning of February.
Celebrated in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of the city of Puno, the Festival de la Candelaria or Carnival of Puno is a huge event merging Catholic traditions brought to Peru by the Spanish conquerors and age-old Andean customs, rites and symbols.
The core of the festival are the music and dance performances including the costume dances and other traditional dances of the Andean Altiplano of Peru presented by tens of thousands of dancers and musicians.
The festival starts each year on February 2, the virgins feast day, with the religious central day of the celebrations. After a mass around 100,000 visitors from across the globe dance in a huge procession with Mama Candela through the streets of Puno.
Around a week later the main festival days with lots of traditional music, dancing and costumes take place. In 2019 these are February 9, 10 and 11.
Saturday, February 9 starts early with a mass at the Virgen de Candelaria Sanctuary. In the afternoon music and dance groups enter the city center and pay homage to the virgin in their best costumes in the evening. The day ends with fireworks.
On Sunday, February 10 the “Great Costumes Competition” is held at the Torres Belon Stadium in Puno. In the evening lots of music and dancing in Puno’s streets.
And on Monday, February 11, 2019 the “Great Parade of Veneration” takes place where the music groups and dancers take over the streets of Puno.
- Saturday, 02 February 2019
- Sunday, 10 February 2019
- Monday, 11 February 2019