Saturday, May 13, 2017

Stumbling into the Festival of the Crosses

Sometimes when you are traveling you have to roll with the punches and get a wonderful surprise in return. While staying in Cusco Peru I had booked a tour to visit the Inca Site of Moray and the Salt Pools of Salinas de Maras but after going to the meeting point for the tour I never got connected with my tour group. I went to the office where I bought the ticket and made arrangements to go the following day.
Rather than do nothing on the day which I love to do I decided to visit the Inca ruins at the town of Chinchero. I figured out where to catch the public transport and made the short trip to the town and walked up to the ruins. The ruins are a number of terraces with a Spanish Church built on top using stones from the Inca site.

After wondering around the terraces for a bit I went up to visit the Church. There was some type of service taking place and the church was jam packed. I waited around until the service was over so I could both enjoy seeing all the people in the traditional clothing as well as get a chance to see the inside of the Church.
Shortly after the service was over and the Church started clearing out they seemed to start a parade. The parade marched or danced out of the church down into a court yard around it and back up to the church. They stopped at the door to the check and the priest came along and slashed what I assumed was holy water on the people in the parade and the crowd. I have put some of the videos I took below.

I found out the following day that this was the Fiesta de las Cruces ("Festival of the Crosses") that takes place each year on May 3. A day that started with disappointment of missing a tour turned into a day where if I would have got my tour I would have missed seeing the festival.
The following day the tour was also really enjoyable and made it to Moray and Salinas with no problems.

Me at Moray.

Salt Pools of Salinas de Maras

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