Forty Thousand Dancers Can't Be Wrong...
The annual Virgen de la Candelaria festival in Puno is one of the Andes largest celebrations, and at its peak can involve 40,000 dancers and 5,000 musicians.
Although nominally a Catholic celebration, venerating the patron saint of Puno, the festival has become a classic example of the way indigenous peoples took ostensibly Catholic traditions and imbued them with their own beliefs and culture.
In this way, the Virgen has also become known as 'MamaCanchi' and has become closely associated with the indigenous 'Pachamama' deity, or Mother Earth, and with the myth of Lake Titicaca being the founding point of the Inca Empire.
Today, the festival is notable as the single largest festival of Andean music and dance traditions, and for anyone who has any interest in traditional culture, it's a fantastic festival to visit.
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