CARNIVALS OF CUSCO
The Cusco carnival takes place between February or March.
Festivity that unites the Cusco population through allegory and measured play. The “yunzas or cortamontes” are the main attraction of this party that consists of the profusion of the game with water, talcum and mixture.
The main celebration of the Cusqueño Carnival takes place in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, with the presentation of public and private institutions, which offer the best of their dances, comparsas and gangs, many of them winners of the various Carnival Festivals of the South Valley and Sacred Valley of the Inkas.
In the same way, a carnival gastronomic festival is developed, where the different stews and drinks predominate as the “puchero” or “t’impu” for the delight and satisfaction of the attending public.
CENTRAL DAY (SUNDAY)
It starts very early with games that use water and mistura as the main elements thrown by men and women of different ages. It is traditional in Cusco to see groups of cusqueños mixed with national and foreign visitors who delight with all this festivity.
COMPADRES AND COMADRES
The parties of compadres and comadres are the ones that distinguish the Carnivals of Cusco.
During the first, two Thursdays before Carnival Sunday, the women visit and entertain their compadres, but they also make fun of them by hanging life-size rag dolls in the streets.
The men do the same with their comadres the following Thursday. The dish that accompanies these carnival celebrations, is the timpu or puchero
CARNIVALS IN THE PROVINCES OF CUSCO
The festival takes place in various districts and provinces of the department of Cusco, especially, the sacred valley of the Inkas (Pisac, Qoya, Calca, Urubamba, Lamay, Yanahuara etc.), as well as the South Valley (San Jerónimo, Oropesa and Canchis, where you can still see the famous Carnival of Ink).
They say that in the Carnival of the Tinta district, in Cusco, women are the ones who rule. The Ink Carnival is very typical of the hometown of Tupac Amaru II.
In the countryside, and towns in the interior of Cuzco, such as Mollepata and Calca, the carnival introduces peculiarities such as the Yunza of the Bachelors and Married, which is a tree decorated with gifts, where couples of married couples or singles can dance and participate by cutting the tree until it falls, the carnivals are quite traditional, collecting customs in the style of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with music and performances in Quechua people dance the typical songs of the Carnival, and huaynos, especially the Carnival of Ink.
The Inca song and dance subsist in the dance, being the European elements, complement for a new expression. The Quechuas have made carnivals a special means to enhance their race and worship love, land and fertility, through cheerful choreography full of color. The costumes have Spanish influence.
The dances are a spectacle that can not be missed.
OCTAVE OR KACHARPARI (SUNDAY)
As the name indicates a week later, the eighth or carnival finish is carried out, characterized by dances, games and a variety of typical dishes from the festivities. In some areas of Cusco the Yunzas or Cortamontes are carried out, which consists in artificially planting a tree decorated with different gifts, around which one dances in a round, with the help of a machete, the tree is to be knocked down so that the attendees can creditors of any of the gifts. With the eighth of carnivals this important festival is dismissed.