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Paucartambo – PERU

13 June 2022

A group of pilgrims pray at a cemetery in the village of Paucartambo.


The Qoyllur Riti, which in Quechua means “Snow Star”, is a religious festival that is celebrated 58 days after Easter and just a few days before Corpus Christi, so its date varies every year. It is a festival that mixes the Andean traditions of the pre-Hispanic era with the religion brought by the Spanish conquerors. Thus, the faithful use the image of Christ but as a background they venerate the integration of man with nature, the fertility of the land and the worship of the Apus (hills).

Every year, faithful from different parts of Cusco and other departments of Peru make an 8.5 km pilgrimage, which ends, five hours later, at the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurity. This road goes through the Sinakara valley and reaches the foot of the snowy Qolqepunku, at 4,800 meters above sea level.

The festivity was recognized in 2011 Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.