Holy Week in Cusco - useful information



The Holy Week in Cusco is celebrated between the second fortnight of March and the first weeks of April, the date isn’t fixed changing, so is changeable.
On this year 2017 the Holy Week begins on April 9th with Domingo of Ramos and concludes on Sunday, April 16th with the Resurrection of Christ.


As in many places around the world, Cusco participates in the celebration of Holy Week considered as a period of spiritual recollection, commemorating the life, passion and the death of Jesus, but also this celebration combines cultural elements of Cusco, which have been inherited from generation to generation. Down lines, we will give you a guide of all the events that you can appreciate on this beautiful city during Holy Week.


The Holy Week in Cusco begins with "Domingo de Ramos", where the faithful go to the different churches of the city with palm leaves and a cross made of the same plant, which are blessed in the Eucharistic celebrations of the different temples of the city, then to take on the houses and to collocate on the doors, as a symbol of protection.

Mass on the Cathedral of Cusco will be from 05:30 to 07:00 or from 08:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Blessing of Ramos, Procession and Eucharistic celebration.

Domingo de Ramos - Cusco


The next day on Monday take one of the most important moments of the celebration. The procession of "Holy Monday" with the image of the Señor de los Temblores, a tradition that was established after the earthquake of March 31th, 1650, which is why the Señor de los Temblores would be designated as "Jury Pattern" of the city of Cusco.

The procession begins in the afternoon in the Basilica of the Cathedral and develops with a great emotional and mystical faith, the route that originally took the “Taytacha de los Temblores” has been extended due to the increase of the population to receive the blessing of the Patron. This last one is the most important moments of the all procession that takes the same place where it began. An important component of this custom is the red flower of "Ñujchu" that symbolizes the blood of the "Pachamama or mother earth in the magic Andean religious world.

Activities: 02:00 p.m.
Beginning of the Solemn Procession of the Señor de lo Temblores.

Procesion del Señor de los Temblores

The route of the Señor de los temblores

Jueves Santo - Cusco

Recommendations for the Public Assistant:

• To secure the houses with alarms or to leave of care to the neighbors.
• Don’t carry wallets, jewelry, money and things of value to the Procession.
• Wear umbrellas or plastic ponchos.
• If you go with children, you should put a card with their personal data and telephone numbers in their pockets and explain that if they lose, they should ask the National Police or Auxiliary Forces such as Firemen, Serenazgo, and Municipal Police.
• To coordinate with their families a meeting point to the end of the Procession.
• To put the trash in plastic bags and deposit them in the containers or cylinders.
• To use the Public or private toilets or, NOT in public.
• Locate emergency exits and safety zones.
• At the end of the Procession, wait in a safe place until the exit ways are cleared, so that you can move with ease.
• In case of emergencies, the indications of the Brigadists and members of the Police and Auxiliary Forces must be obeyed strictly.

Photo Gallery of the Señor of the Temblores:


The Holy Week continues with "Jueves Santo". In the Basilica of the Cathedral, the Archbishop washes the feet of twelve elders, in memory of the washing of Jesus to his apostles, while the families gather to enjoy the "twelve plates" remembering the "Last dinner". Here you can appreciate the mixture of Andean and Western dishes, while in the square of San Francisco and the Central Market you can buy sweets such as the maicillos crunchies, biscuits, sighs, empanadas and other delicious of the traditional cusqueña cake shop. At night, the families walk through the streets and squares of the Historic Center on the route of the "Seven churches" that remember the falls of Jesus on his way to Calvary.

Mass in the Basilica of the Cathedral:start at 04:00 p.m.
Solemn Mass of the "Institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood".



On "Good Friday" all people "help to the Lord", in some homes this painful act is still practiced, such as the offering of penance and sacrifice to obtain forgiveness for the seven deadly sins of the human being.

From the church of San Francisco begins the procession of the Cross that ends at dawn on the hill of Sacsayhuaman, at the foot of the “White Christ”. It is the day where thousands of faithful keep fasting and don’t consume meat. In these temples the "Three Hours and Seven Words" sermon takes place.

As well as, during this spiritual and religious date the Hanpi Qhatuy "or" Hanpi Rantikuy "is done in some markets and places of Cusco. It is a popular fair where many farmers come from their communities bringing medicinal plants, becoming the scene of ancestral knowledge for the natural treatment of diseases. Finally, during the afternoon and the night, from the different temples of the city come the processions of the Holy Sepulcher accompanied by the Virgin Dolorosa.

Mass in the Basilica of the Cathedral: to start at 03:00 p.m.
CCelebration of the Passion of the Lord.

Activities:to start at 05:00 p.m.
Beginning of the Procession of the Lord of the Holy Sepulcher.

Procesion del Santo Sepulcro


On the night of "Saturday of Glory" the different churches celebrate "The ceremony of Light", a prelude to the "Sunday of Resurrection" with which the "Holy Week" ends, celebrating the Savior overcoming death.

Saturday, April 15th, 07:00 p.m.
Basilica of the Cathedral "Celebration of the Solemn Easter Vigil".

Sunday April 16th, from 05:30, 7:00 am, 08:30 am or 10:00 AM
Basilica of the Cathedral: "Masses of Resurrection".


Many chroniclers of the time of the great Inca empire agree that the traditional Holy Week in Cusco is based on the Christ of tremors or the called "Taytacha of the Tremors too.

Although the celebrations already extended all the week. Luis E. Valcárcel, in his book "Memoirs" tells us: "Between Wednesday, Thursday and Holy Friday there were important events such as La Reseña, a ceremony of colonial, which consisted in that the canonical lay facing each other on the floor of the Cathedral praying to God for the forgiveness of his sins ".

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