Saints for Sales in Cusco, Peru
Every year on the 24th of December, Cusqueños wake up find to their main square packed with hundreds of artisans from Cusco and the surrounding areas, all displaying their creations on rented stalls or even on blankets on the sidewalk – an Andean fair custom.
The celebration of Santuranticuy (‘saints for sales’) - considered the oldest, grandest Folk art fair in Peru - gathers all sorts of carved Christmas handcrafts, from images of a newborn Jesus - known as ‘niño Manuelito’ in the Andes – to the Retablos (small altarpieces in the shape of a box that represent different scenes: in this season, the most common ones represent the birth of Jesus).
Even though the Santuranticuy fair was originally dedicated to Christmas, it now offers other kinds of artwork including antiques, jewellery, ceramics, paintings and creative clothing, all produced by Peruvian artisans.
It is a unique opportunity to appreciate Andean handcraft all in one place. Prices are fair and you can always get a good deal if you bargain a little. We recommend you get there early in the morning and don’t forget to bring a ‘poncho’, as it traditionally rains and hails this day!
Cusco’s Main Square
Every December 24th from 9am to 9pm
Photo by Bev Rosser