June is a very special month in Cusco as they celebrate their founding and the god of the sun . Basically, it means there´s a lot of parades, bands, dancing, fireworks and traffic. This morning, I decided to join in a little on the fun. First order of business, attending mass at The Cathedral at 8:30am. This way, I don´t have to pay money to see a church. Normally, tourists are not allowed at this time, but as long as you are respectful and even go there to worship with them, it´s okay.
Now, this was a particularly interesting experience because I am not Catholic, nor do I understand that much Spanish. However, I enjoyed observing the worshippers and shaking their hands during the passing of peace. After mass, I walked around the cathedral to view the old colonial paintings and gilded sculptures. In many of these different areas, people would sometimes kneel in front or even touch a painting in prayer, which I did not really understand.
Inside the churches were huge sculptures of saints that were carried by several men. Apparently, last week was Corpus Cristi when the saints were taken from the churches to be paraded. Now, they were being paraded again so that they could be returned to their churches. It seems that the cathedral was home to them during the past few days.
I followed them outside and listened to the brass ensembles that accompanied the procession. There were also dancers in traditional costumes and fireworks. Managed to catch some on video before sitting on a bench at the Plaza de Armas to rest and listen to the bands play. If this is how they party for this, I wonder how it will be like when they have their major celebration.
Anyway, that´s it for now. Salsa class in a few. Ciao.