The Christmas festivities are considered such as one of the most important festivities that Cusco city has during the year. After the arrival of the Spanish to the city around 1533, when they impose the Catholic religion and its celebrations to the native.
The beginning of the denominated festivity of Santu Ranticuy “Saints selling’s”, was started during the XVI century, after the arrival of the Spanish to the Inca territory. When the Spanish felt the necessity to celebrate the traditional catholic festivities, this is how they created the festivity that starts in the morning on December 24th and finishing that same night in the main square of Cusco City.
Since a long time ago, all cusqueñan people go to this traditional festivity in order to buy ornaments for their nativities, starting with small sculptures of Joseph, Mary, the three wise men and especially baby Jesus.
The Santu Ranticuy festivity is the hoped opportunity by a big number of artists, these masters are native from Cusco City and during the festivity, they show the best of their work to try to sell their art pieces that have to be related with the born of Baby Jesus.
One of the most arraigned traditions in Cusco City is the one when the families have a nativity in their houses and the only place. Where they can buy ornaments for their cribs are during this traditional festivity, especially new outfits for the baby Jesus who on December 25th is celebrating his birthdate. These clothes are handmade with different thematic but the original ones are related to the local dances and traditions.
Without a doubt, the major attraction of this festivity is Manuelito, who is a representation of Baby Jesus, that have to go to the mass on Christmas eve, of course, they have to wear a totally new outfit for playing with the rest of the kids. The Manuelito’s are especial because they have glass eyes, a mirror palate, and real hair obtained in the first haircut of the babies.
This tradition at the beginning was just for rich families in the city. But nowadays, all the catholic people of the city are part of this incredible festivity. Fulling all the main plaza of Cusco to try to get the best outfits and ornaments for their baby Jesus, the people from the Andean communities arrive at the main square to sell a different kind of plants and moss that the people use for decorating their nativity
The Festivity of Santu Ranticuy is celebrated every year without interruption on December 24th in the main plaza of Cusco City.
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