My Candelaria Experience as a Spanish Student in Peru
Friday February 12, 2016 - Posted by webmaster
to Study Spanish
The Candelaria festival in Puno is the third largest festival in South America. It takes place every year in February on the edge of Lake Titicaca, in Southern Peru, which has an elevation of 3,810 meters. Thousands of dancers flock to this festival with their amazing costumes, and thousands of tourists observe the event. If you are in Peru in February, to participate in a Spanish course, or just to travel in Peru, you should definitely make it a priority to go to this festival!
I went to the festival with a group of fellow students from Amauta Spanish School. We could not wait to celebrate Candelaria with the people of Puno. Here are a few things that made our experience unforgettable:
- We traveled from Cusco to Puno by bus. The journey usually takes 8 hours and fortunately the tickets were quite cheap. We only slept a little bit because the road was pretty bumpy and we went up, up, and up to a higher altitude! Luckily I had been in Cusco for a week and had adjusted a little bit to the altitude, but nevertheless my heart was pumping for oxygen!
- Because Puno is right by the Lake, it is a bit colder that Cusco. It was fun to huddle up with my friends in our winter coats, warm hats, and gloves. When we were watching the Candelaria festivities, it started to rain, but thankfully there were enough spaces where we could shelter from the rain. Even though it was raining pretty hard, that didn´t stop the dancers and musicians from celebrating their annual festival. We admired their dedication!
- Peruvians really know how to party. Everywhere we went, there were people handing out beers or mixed drinks. There were tons of people in the streets and everyone was partying hard…even the dancers in the parade were doing shots!
- Although Puno was not as charming as Cusco, it was so fun to be there when Candelaria was happening. It was amazing to see the dancers in all their different outfits and to watch them do the traditional dances. I had never seen such a colorful parade with so many participants. It is really amazing how Peruvians are so dedicated to honoring their culture and history with celebrations and festivals.
If you come to Peru in February, Candelaria is definitely a ´´must-see!´´ It was an unforgettable experience and I am so glad that I got to participate in this special celebration during my stay in Peru.
Cusco, February 2015, Suus Pierik