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Best of the fiestas

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Peruvians love any excuse for a celebration. In Andean towns and villages, especially, communities host a huge number of festivals. Most of these have some link to the religious calendar, and the major Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter – infused with indigenous elements – still provide the basis for the biggest festivities. Cusco in particular is a great place for holidays that involve some sort of Inca ritual, Puno is renowned as the capital of Andean music and folkloric tradition, and in the hills around Huaraz, it’s common to stumble across a village fiesta, with its explosion of human energy and noise, bright colours and a mixture of pagan and Catholic symbolism. Costumed processions, eating and drinking are the core activities of village celebrations, and gatherings are an excuse for locals to show off their musical talents and dance moves.

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