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A dancer of Diablada puneña in the Candlemas festivity.
Diablada puneña during the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru.

The Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno in Peru, held in the first fortnight of February each year. It is one of the largest festivals of culture, music and dancing in Peru. In terms of the number of events related to the cultures of the Quechua and Aymara peoples and of the mestizos of the Altiplano, and also in terms of the number of people directly and indirectly involved in its realization, it stands with the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and the Carnaval de Oruro in Bolivia as one of the three largest festivals in South America.

At the core of the festival are performances of music and dance organized by the Regional Federation of Folklore and Culture of Puno, consisting of more than 200 dances in more than 150 dance sets. These include "native dances" from the various communities in Puno and sets of dances organized in different quarters of the city, mostly those known as "costume dances". These performances directly involve 40,000 dancers and some 5,000 musicians, and indirectly involve about 25,000 people including directors, sponsors, embroiderers and the makers of masks, clothing, boots, shoes, bells and other items.


  • Espezúa Salmón, Renán (2006). "La Majestuosa Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria: La otra capital del Perú, cerca del cielo y la tradición". Editorial Cadena del Sur. Puno. (in Spanish)
  • Govierno Regional Puno (2005). "Danzas Mestizas: Festividad Virgen de la Candelaria". Gerencia Regional de Desarrollo Social. Puno. (in Spanish)