Cajamarca is called the capital of the Peruvian Carnival, hosting the biggest and most joyful celebration in the country. On Carnival Monday a huge parade and festivities attract thousands of spectators. The ceremony is filled with dancers, floats, music bands and performers dressed in costumes and masks. Plaza de Armas is used as a central gathering for those who want to witness Peru’s Carnival traditions, like the cutting down of a tree decorated with gifts.
Dancing around a tree ritual is called Unsha. It takes place from Tuesday through Sunday in many neighbourhoods of the city. Couples are dancing around a tree that has gifts in each branch. They try to cut the trunk with an ax until the tree falls down. Then everyone can get a present.
Carnival Saturday is a paint-day when everyone can have fun! People of all ages paint each other with a mixture of water, flour, and paint. Water guns with paint are popular too. Some enthusiasts spray anyone who comes near.