Lima’s most important festivals and events are listed below.
The Humboldt Current blankets Lima in cloudy dreariness for at least six months per year. But from January through March, the sun emerges and the people of Lima hit the beach. The only time to bask in the sun is the South American summer from January through March.
Anniversary of Lima
Pizarro founded La Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings) on January 18, 1535. The city of Lima holds small celebrations downtown featuring live music, fireworks, traditional dances, the Peruvian Paso horses and plenty of eating and drinking.
Peruvian Paso Horse Competition
The Peruvian Paso breed descended from Arabian horses is showcased at competitions by leading breeders from across Peru. See an official schedule of competitions throughout Peru sanctioned by the National Association of Peruvian Paso Horse Breeders and Owners (ANCPCPP). To see the Peruvian Paso horses anytime, you can visit traditional family ranches such as Hacienda Mamacona, where two of the largest competitions are held, or Hacienda Los Ficus.
Wine and Pisco Festival
The Festival de la Vendimia is a wine festival in Lima’s old grape-producing district of Surco. The annual fair features plenty of grape-based alcohol in wine and pisco, cuisine, live music and the traditional Afro-Peruvian dance, “festejo.” The festival is known for its beauty pageant, in which barefoot contestants dressed in short skirts step on grapes to extract the juice. The timing of the Vendimia Festival has changed over the years, but the Surco district has seemed to have recently settled on May.
Peru’s independence day is July 28. “Fiestas Patrias” mark a full week of festivals and parties celebrating independence. It is effectively a weeklong holiday with daily festivities downtown and in every neighborhood. Each district will hold a small fair in their main park or plaza – usually near the municipal building – featuring gastronomy, pisco and cocktails, live music and dancing. The Plaza de Armas, Parque de la Reserva and Parque de Las Leyendas host the largest celebrations, while the Great Military Parade of Peru is the largest single event.
Mistura Food Festival
Mistura is the largest food festival in Latin America and, at the time of this publication, Peru holds five consecutive World Travel Awards for Best Culinary Destination.The festival showcases traditional dishes from all of Peru’s regions and world-renowned chefs. In addition to food, there is live music and entertainment. The week-long festival is held in mid-September.
Señor de los Milagros
The Lord of Miracles festivities are South America’s largest Catholic processions, held in downtown Lima on October 18, 19 and 28. When Peru was a Spanish colony in 1651, an Angolan slave painted the image of Jesus Christ on the wall of a house. What began as an Afro-Peruvian tradition was increasingly adopted by Lima’s Creole middle classes in the 18th century as the image survived many devastating earthquakes. The replica image is paraded on various routes as hundreds of thousands flock to the city center to attend Mass, glimpse the procession, say a prayer or light a candle at the original image.
Plaza de Acho in Rimac, the oldest bullring in the Americas, hosts the annual bullfighting season on six Sundays from late October to early December. Tickets range from $600 to $600.
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