BAJADA DE REYES (THREE WISE MEN) CELEBRATION
The Catholic celebration known as the "Epiphany of the Lord or Adoration of the wise men" is best known in Peru and its regions as "The descent of Kings", "Easter of Kings" or "The visit of the Kings." This Catholic festival evokes the three wise men Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar, who traveled from the East to Bethlehem, guided by a star in order to honor and bestow offerings to the future King of the Jews called Jesus.
After Christmas and the celebration of the New Year, these festivities culminate with the traditional "Bajada de Reyes", which is currently staged in several squares, temples and towns of Cusco as part of a custom that still remains in force. In various squares of the districts of Cusco families gather and sell the traditional clothes of the Niño Manuelito, in the middle of nice fairs full of color and hullabaloo that take place days before and until January 6th.
On the other hand the members of the Association of Artists, Artisans and Producers "Niño Doctorcito de La Merced", organize, like every year, to carry out this fair with the aim of marketing the garments of colors and sizes, shoes, clothes, capes, among other things to dress the "Niño Manuelito" as part of the memory of the last days of the Christmas celebrations.
In the same way the artisans from Cusco and its provinces make garments with characteristics typical from their regions, they show all their creativity and imagination to dress the "Niños Manuelitos" with original attires such as the hats that are used in traditional dances, "ojotas" (a kind of sandals) instead of shoes, christmas hats, among other clothing that are handmade crafted. During the Bajada de Reyes many families from Cusco use to take their Niños Manuelitos to the temples to be blessed by the priests after participating in the eucharistic celebration.
On the other hand, we can remember and refer to the celebration of "Bajada de Reyes Magos" in the countryside communities, wich as part of their religious traditions is celebrated in very traditional ways. We mention the San Pedro district from the Canchis province, where a particular "Reyes Magos Race" is held, in wich the youth of the community participate in this event to demonstrate their strength and agility.
One way or another, the people from Cusco celebrate their various religious holidays and customs in a particular way rooted to traditions that express, in this case, a very profound faith, that comes with lots of hubbub, dances, music and color, as well as with the flavors and aromas of the traditional and delicious local cuisine that can be found on the tables of the locals during this significative and religious period of the year.