October in Lima, Peru!
El Senor de los Milagros!
The month of October in Peru is known as el Mes Morado (purple month) as the faithful traditionally wear a purple garment, adorned with a thick white cord, in honour of el Señor de los Milagros (Lord of the Miracles), the most venerated religious image in Peru. During this month, the image of the Lord of the Miracles is taken from its home church Las Nazarenas , in a series of processions to other churches in the colonial centre of Lima. The smell of incense and the footsteps of the faithful accompany the procession, as it makes its way along the narrow city streets of colonial Lima.
In 1655, the image of Christ, painted by a slave in the region of Pachacamilla (where Las Nazarenas Church now stands), miraculously survived Lima’s worst earthquake to date. The church was completely destroyed, but the only wall that did not collapse was the wall where the image was painted.
Legend has it that during colonial times, Josefa Jaraminillo , better known as Doña Pepa , an Afro-Peruvian slave who suffered from paralysis in her arms, prayed to the Cristo de Pachacamilla (El Señor de los Milagros ), asking him to cure her of her illness. She made the trip to Lima for the procession to catch a glimpse of the image that she hoped would grant her the miracle she needed. And on the first day of the procession, her prayers were answered; she was cured and able to use her arms and hands once again.
Eternally grateful to the Señor de los Milagros, she dreamt of the recipe for what was to become the Turrón de Dona Pepa and now every year Peruvians eat her confection in the month of October, at the time of the Señor de los Milagros Procession. Pepa, by the way, is the nickname given to women who are called Josefa, or Josefina.
Since then the image of El Señor de los Milagros is the most venerated image of Christ in Peruvian culture. It is calculated that not less than 600 thousand people accompany the Christ in each one of his exits or "walks" around the city. El Señor de los Milagros was named the Patron of Lima back in the year 1715.
Bullfighting in Plaza de Acho!
Even though it has nothing to do with religion, another activity that takes place in the month of October in Lima is bullfighting! I guess Peruvians can’t hide the fact that they were colonized by nationals from Spain! Although there is much controversy about bullfights, in Lima the tradition continues, after hundred of years, especially now with the growing number of tourists visiting. The “toreros” (bullfighters) come from Spain or Colombia and there are also local “matadores”.
Every year, the “Feria del Señor de los Milagros ” is one of the most important bullfight festivals in America, where the trophy is the El Escapulario de Oro (an 18K brilliant gold image). The “toreros” (bullfighters) come from Spain or Colombia, as well as local “matadores”.
The construction for Plaza de Acho began in 1766. It is classified as a historic monument and is located in the Rímac District. It was constructed of classic materials, adobe and wood, and it has survived the various earthquakes that have rocked the city over the centuries since it was constructed.
Each year, the plaza showcases the most celebrated bullfighters of the world. In addition, the annual bullfighting fair Señor de los Milagros is held at the plaza on Sundays through October and parts of November. The best bullfighter of the year is awarded the Escapulario de Oro (Golden Scapular). The plaza is the oldest to be found in the Americas and it was rebuilt in 1946.