Mamacha Carmen Fiesta in Paucartambo, Peru
Almost 3,000 popular ‘fiestas’ are celebrated year-round in Peru. Every year, between the 15th and 18th of July, a little village near Cusco called Paucartambo, draws the attention of tourists and locals alike with one of the most eagerly awaited religious celebrations in Peru. The preparations to celebrate Mamacha Carmen (Mother Carmen), patron Saint of the village, start several weeks before July 15th; as a matter of fact, the whole village will stop working during this week in July and will dedicate all their time to celebrating their protector. This festival includes not only the mass main procession of Mamacha Carmen’s image on the 16th, but also four days of parties including Peruvian folk bands playing day and night; dancers in colourful costumes and hand-made masks that represent slaves of the colonial times, angels or demons; fireworks; and lots and lots of beer, chicha and pisco.