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History and dress of the Ayacucho Carnival

The Ayacucho Carnival is a festivity that takes place during three days of the month of February or March in the city of Ayacucho. It was declared by the National Institute of Culture as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.


As many of the cultural expressions have their origin in Europe, the carnivals are interpreted in Peru with a content that had its origin in the medioeval era. For this reason, images, characters and festive symbols emerge that break with everyday life and work.

The close observation of carnivals in Peru shows that they are the affirmation of their own cultural concepts and artistic expressions that correspond to native or mestizo cultures, with their own contents and that are integrated into contemporary social life.


During three days of celebration, the city is full of color and joy in all the streets of the city, especially in the downtown areas where the comparsas meet in greater numbers, while the ” cutters ” are celebrated in all neighborhoods from the city.

The first day of the carnival in Ayacucho begins with the entrance of the ” No Carnavalón ” to the city square. After his entrance, the urban squares immediately enter the scene, singing and dancing with great enthusiasm before the eyes of thousands of settlers gathered for this celebration; As the bands leave, the whole city is filled with them, they will dance and sing until the wee hours of the night, letting them hear the joy they carry in their walk.

The second day is where the largest number of comparsas meet in all the streets of the city, dancing and singing among serpentines, talc and to the sound of songs in Quechua and Castilian. The ” No Carnavalón ” does not appear in the city during that day.

On the last day, the comparsas continue to dance and the “cutters” at night will continue, but this day is marked by the burning of the “No Carnavalón”. It will be burned in the square of the city before the presence of the settlers and tourists. During that day, big boys try to dismiss the carnivals in a big way.

The groups of groups come out organized by a leader who goes in front of the comparsa, singing and dancing in the streets of the city with typical musical instruments. Their dress or clothing is made up of costumes of different types of multicolored dresses, emphasizing among them, the typical costume of Huamanga.

In groups or gangs that dance in carnivals for plazas and streets, dancers represent neighborhoods, communities or social clubs, just as in the dances around the carded tree of gifts, there is an admirable organization capacity of the people to affirm his right to make art, continuing with ancient rites in homages to the life, denominated “Puqllay”.

Carnival Songs:

The carnival songs were constituted in the best way for the social denunciation:

This life is no longer life, for the ayacuchanos / yaraqaywampas kuskallaña / wayñuywampas kuskallaña (we are very together with the hunger / hermanados coin the death) (Carnaval of the Center Folkloric of Pacayccasaq).

Killapas watapas pasanñam / maypiñaraq? (Months and years have passed / where will it be? / perhaps within the rocky / becoming earth, or amid the thorns / and sprouting like herbs) (Huamanguino de Ranulfo Fuentes).

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