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Yawar Fiesta or Festival of Blood 2023

Though cruel and bloody, this event symbolizes fight for freedom in Peru


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When the whole country celebrates its Day of Independence, some communities follow an old tradition. Yawar Fiesta or Festival of Blood was started in the 18th century and spread from Cusco to many communities. Today only some cities follow it step by step, thus the Apurimac region is the best to visit for this occasion.

Several weeks before the Yawar Fiesta a mature condor should be caught in the mountains. During the celebration, the bird is tied to a bull's back, and while the bull tries to get rid of the "rider" the bird pecks his neck. For Peruvians the condor represents Incas and the bull symbolises Spaniards, who invaded their land. In addition, young and brave men provoke the bull and help the condor. In the end, the bird kills the bull, and both his win and his free flight create a magnificent allegory with the liberation of Peru from colonisers.

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