Join us for a day of culture in Carhuaz

“Let’s go to Carhuaz this afternoon to see the fiesta,” Ade announced last Monday.

Huanquillas in Carhuaz
Traditional dancers at the Carhuaz fiesta

Carhuaz is a fairly large town about 45 minutes farther down the valley from where we live.  It’s also 2,000 feet lower in altitude, which means it’s quite a bit warmer, and that, added to the fact that we call it “the ice cream town,” because of the many amazing homemade ice cream flavors, definitely makes an afternoon trip to Carhuaz a pleasure!

So on Monday we drove to the Carhuaz plaza to see the festivities of the annual town party… and to eat some ice cream, of course.

Why don’t you join us for a photo tour of this cultural event…

Carhuaz fiesta 2019
“People watching” in the main plaza

I loved seeing this old-fashioned photographer trying to enjoy his ice cream in peace…

Carhuaz fiesta
Old-time plaza photographer

Carhuaz fiesta




… while the kids were trying to give kisses to his hobby horse!




Vendors take advantage of the large crowd by selling many different kinds of wares and services…

Carhuaz fiesta (109)
Keychains from China!
Carhuaz fiesta (45)
Candles to light in the church
Carhuaz fiesta
Candy Apples… and their very cheerful vendor!




And of course, you can’t have a party without food!

You could call the man in the lavender shirt a real, live “Muffin Man!”  His rolling cart has a tiny oven attached to the side, and the sweet scent of baking muffins draws the customers.  (I have to admit that on more than one occasion I have followed the tantalizing smell of the Muffin Man’s cart through market streets until I found him just around a corner!)

Carhuaz fiesta (116)
Snow cone syrup… in re-purposed rum bottles!
Carhuaz fiesta (96)
A whole lot of popped whole grain snacks!

Like most holidays here in Peru, there is very little division between the secular and the religious, or between ancient and modern-day practices of faith.

Carhuaz fiesta (51)
Huanquillas waiting their turn to dance in the church
Carhuaz fiesta (56)
the patron saint of this party

The celebrations take place both inside the church, and outside in the streets.

Each colorful dance troupe has a distinctive style of dance and music.

Carhuaz fiesta (33)
colorful Shacshas
Carhuaz fiesta (78)
flute & drum players
"Los Negritos" taking a break from their dance
“Los Negritos” taking a break from their dance

Here are just a few more interesting scenes from the streets of Carhuaz before we say goodbye…

Carhuaz fiesta (37)


These seed pods from a jungle tree produce the distinctive “shac-shac-shac-shac” sound that gives the Shacsha dance its name.

Carhuaz fiesta
The Carhuaz cathedral in late afternoon
Carhuaz fiesta
Quechua ladies from 3 different towns… as evidenced by their hats! Caraz, Carhuaz, Huaraz

Everyone loves the village party!  We hope you have too.Carhuaz fiesta (28)

4 thoughts on “Join us for a day of culture in Carhuaz

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