The native Andean population adopted the catholic faith during the Spanish colonial period. In fact, with the arrival and establishment of numerous congregations in Ayacucho, it became the centre of the catholic religion. This new religion was accepted by the peoples of the area, who adapted it to their culture, types of organizations, ethics and ways of life.
The festivities of Holy Week as the representation of the Ways of the Cross of Jesus date back to that colonial period, and have become a time of reencounter of the faithful with their faith, as well as a time to share with the family.
Presently, it is considered the major Holy Week celebration in Peru. Lasting ten days, this is the time of the year when Ayacucho attracts the largest number of visitors. The other cities of Huamanga also celebrate Holy Week with different special events, such as the descent from the cross in Huanta.
Holy Week in Ayacucho comprises an ample program of processions in which penitents carry their statues through the city’s main streets. On the Friday of Sorrows, the Lord of Agony and Our Lady of Pain (Señor de la Agonia y la Virgen Dolorosa) are taken out of the church of La Magdalena. During Holy Week there are numerous activities which end on Easter Sunday (Domingo de Resurreccion) with the procession of the Resurrection of the Lord.
Program of Processions: