We knew that Easter Week (Santa Semana) was very important in Peru, so we were keen to see some Easter festivities, little realizing that they would all be cancelled.
On the Friday morning, while still in Lima, we could have seen the Good Friday parade. A statue of “Del Señor de los Milagros” (the Lord of Miracles) is brought out from Lima Cathedral, preceded by women in white veils walking backwards bearing incense. He has been a feature of the Good Friday parades since….1999. That’s invented tradition for you.
We heard that the main cities for Santa Semana celebrations were Cusco, Ayacucho and Arequipa. At this stage, we were planning to go to Cusco later, and apparently they throw eggs around in Ayacucho, so Arequipa it was. We were going to fly out of Lima on Good Friday in the afternoon, in time to catch the evening festivities in Arequipa.
Actually, this beautifully filmed video is better than anything we would have seen:
They finish up with a ceremonial burning of Judas. This happens in other cities in Spain and in Mexico too, where they often substitute political figures
He’s a remarkably modern looking Judas, and they do start the fire in a curious place. I’m watching this with a horrified fascination. Boy, that got rid of him.