How is Holy Week Celebrated in Cusco, Peru?

Holy Week (Semana Santa in Spanish) is the week leading up to Easter and is celebrated in its entirety all over the country here in Peru. This year in 2024, Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday on March 24th. As a predominantly Catholic country, it’s not just about Easter, but also about each of the holy days leading up to the commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection.

If you’re planning to spend Easter in Cusco, these are all the important days and dates of Cusco’s Semana Santa in 2024:

  • Palm Sunday or Domingo de Ramos (March 24th, 2024)
  • Holy Monday or Lunes Santo (March 25th, 2024)
  • Holy Tuesday or Martes Santo (March 26th, 2024)
  • Holy Wednesday or Miércoles Santo (March 27th, 2024)
  • Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) or Jueves Santo (March 28th, 2024)
  • Good Friday or Viernes Santo (March 29th, 2024)
  • Holy Saturday or Sábado Gloria (March 30th, 2024)
  • Easter Sunday or Domingo de Pascua (March 31st, 2024)

Does your Peru trip coincide with Semana Santa in Cusco this year in 2024? Cusco easter traditions are worth experiencing in person. Here are the highlights when you visit Cusco during Holy Week:

  • Catholic mass conducted in Quechua (in addition to Spanish), the indigenous language of the Andes and the Inca Empire
  • Palm leaves woven into intricate designs on Palm Sunday, carried or displayed in homes as a sign of protection
  • Traditional dances and processions in and around the main Plaza de Armas of Cusco
  • The annual procession of the Lord of Earthquakes (Señor de los Temblores in Spanish; Taytacha Temblores in Quechua), a 16th century statue of Jesus on the cross housed in the Cathedral of Cusco, Peru
  • Houses and buildings decorated with tapestries to welcome the Lord of the Earthquakes
  • Meals consisting of 12 typical dishes of the region, including soups and stews of dried fish, wheat, and ullucus, empanadas, baked guinea pig, potato cakes, and even desserts made with apple or corn

Interested in spending Easter in Cusco? Contact us to plan your Peru trip.


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