Spanish School Peru: AMAUTA

The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco

Wednesday March 24, 2021 - Posted by to Student life in Cusco
The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco

 The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco


It is tradition in Cusco to have a feast of 12 plates either on Thursday or Friday of Holy Week or Semana Santa as it’s called in Spanish.  Traditionally, the Peruvian families prepare the 12 platos on Thursday, the day before Christ was crucified, in accordance with Jesus´s Last Supper with his disciples. However, some families celebrate the feast of the 12 plates of Friday Viernes Santo so that the whole family can attend. Families in Peru congregate to remember Christ´s sacrifice and gather around the table to fellowship together.

The 12 plates are diverse and delicious. Usually there are 6 salty dishes and 6 sweet dishes, and these dishes vary among families depending on their preferences. Meat is not allowed; most  Peruvians do a red meat fast in honor of Christ.  Learn about The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco.


The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco


The feast of 12 plates for Semana Santa in Peru

The tradition in Peru is to prepare and consume a variety of seafood dishes on Good Friday. While there are many dishes that can be prepared and served, here are some common Peruvian dishes that are typically served on Good Friday in Peru:

Grains and Fish

Many families use typical grains, such as quinoa, rice, and corn to prepare the dishes. Fish is a very common dish on this day because it is a substitute for red meat. Eating fish on Good Friday is also quite symbolic because Jesus and many of his disciples were fishermen. Some Peruvian dishes that are commonly prepared today are:

  1. Cebiche – a dish of marinated raw fish and seafood, typically served with onions, chili peppers, and lime juice.
  2. Arroz con Mariscos – a rice dish with mixed seafood, often including shrimp, squid, mussels, and clams.
  3. Sudado de Pescado – a fish stew made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other herbs and spices.
  4. Jalea – a dish of breaded and fried mixed seafood, often served with onion and lime

Chupe de camerones

Soups are also served as a dish on Good Friday. The famous  and delicous Peruvian ‘chupe de camerones’ is a creamy shrimp chowder with potatoes, corn, cheese, rice and pumpkin. Another soup is Parihuela – a spicy fish soup made with a variety of seafood, often including shrimp, squid, mussels, and crab.

Other dishes include anything made with vegetables, eggs, grains, and any other food besides red meat!  SOme Peruvian dishes that are prepared are: Among the most popular dishes prepared are: corn bouillon, Biscayan cod, baked guinea pig, vegetable croquettes, rocotos soufflé, potato pie, apple or peach compote, medlar sweets, corn and empanadas , among others.


The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco


Peruvian desserts

As for dessert, Peruvians go ´´all-out.´´ There are puddings galore, stewed peaches, meringues, sweet empanadas, arroz con leche, mazamora  morada, and many more options. Needless to say that any sweet tooth will be happy as a clam on the day of The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco, Peru!




The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco


The feast of the 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco  is a beautiful expression of faith and remembrance of Christ´s sacrifice for us. Many people all around Peru will be celebrating with family and friends around the table.

Not only is it a important religious tradition, but it also provides good time with family and many lovely plates of delicious Peruvian food!



The 12 Plates of Holy Week in Cusco

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