The coming together of different creeds, customs and experiences have created close to 3,000 annual popular festivals in Peru, including patron saint feasts, processions, carnivals and rituals. Peruvian festivals often have a mystical side to them, the result of a fusion between Catholicism and pre-Hispanic religious traditions. Many celebrations are about rewarding and recognizing the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for her endless generosity. Speaking of natural generosity, Peruvian cuisine is another expression of a national identity that embraces multiple cultures and the bounty of nature.
Peruvians have become experts at experimenting with new flavors, harmonizing aromas and discovering new ways of cooking.
The diversity of Peru’s agricultural production, microclimates, geography, multiple cultures and the genius of its chefs have enriched the culinary nature of Peru to the point where it is now recognized as the Gastronomic Capital of The Americas.
Mistura is the largest food festival in Latin America. Held in Lima, it brings together the leading chefs and restaurants of Peru, not to mention thousands of food aficionados from around the globe.
Ancient Peruvians were outstanding handicraft artisans with highly developed technical skills. Pre-Hispanic Peruvian art often takes the pragmatic form of weaving, gourds, wood, stone, gold, silver, pottery and even mud, which were used for day-to-day living. This ancestral heritage is still seen today in the coastal, mountain and jungle towns, in a variety of high-quality woven items. Peruvian silver filigree, carved gourds, Ayacuchan altars, Huamanga stone and wood carvings, Chulucanas pottery and Monsefú ponchos, among others, are highly valued around the world.
Music and dance has always played an important role in Peruvian society. Ancient Peruvians used sea shells, reeds and even animal bones to produce sounds. It is said that the Peruvians of the Nazca culture were the most important pre-Hispanic musicians on the continent. Panpipes or zampoñas, terracotta trumpets and pututos were some of the most important musical instruments in ancient Peru.
Another result of its many cultures, Peru today has a rich and varied folklore and a wide diversity of both music and dancing, that combine indigenous genres and spirit with Hispanic influence, as well as modern styles that have adapted to the changes and tastes of society’s larger social groups.
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