This last weak Huarocondo celebrated the Festividad de la Santisima Virgen del Carmen, this has to be the biggest celebration that we have seen outside of the Inti Raymi. The festival starts July 15th and runs through the 20th.
The first day of the festival seemed to be the longest with dancers in colorful costumes performing traditional dances throughout the day and well into the evening. There were large bonfires and fireworks in the evening followed by a late evening mass, after mass cake was served and there were more fireworks with the partying continuing to well after midnight.
On the second day there was more dancing and a precession, where they bring the statue of the Virgen del Carmen out of the church, and have a procession around the plaza. The day continues with more dancing and fireworks in the evening with tall towers that are constructed with pinwheels and designs that explode with light, each consecutive day follows with more dancing and fireworks.
One common theme of all of the days is good food and drink, some of the delectable food items available are anticuchos (shish kabob), Chicharron, Soups, and of course lechon, the adobe oven backed pig that Huarocondo is famous for. For drinks, there was a variety of liquors, lots of beer and an interesting drink calls abas punch, this is made from the abas bean with some sugar and a little alcohol in it, definitely a must try if you happen to be here for the festival.
While I found the Inti Raymi to be interesting, it was much more a staged production number and in my opinion, not near as interesting as this festival. We had a few guests that joined us for the first few days of the festival and everybody seemed to have a fun time, watching the dancing, enjoying the food and even attending mass on the first night. Even as this festival is winding up, I find myself looking forward to sharing it with another set of guests next year.
So if you are considering a trip to Peru in the future, and It is going to be in July, why not consider visiting between the 15th and the 20th of July, and stop by Huarocondo one afternoon or evening to enjoy the festivities.