A Peruvian holiday: celebrating Saint Rose of Lima

Events, Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By Isabel Guerra on August 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Saint Rose Basilica

Peru celebrates Saint Rose of Lima, the first Catholic Saint of the Americas, with a holiday every August 30th. This year this will be a specially festive, because Peruvians will have a long weekend: from Friday, August 27th to Tuesday, August 30th. This long holiday applies only to public employees, but it is likely that many private companies and business will observe it.

Saint Rose statue.

And for sure, you will find special tours and activities for this long weekend.

Traditionally, hundreds of Catholic Limenians visit former Saint Rose’s house, to pray and to drop their letters with special requests (addressed to the saint) into into her “Well of Wishes”. Nowadays the believers can email their letters to a special account opened by the Archbishopric (grupo_santarosa@hotmail.com) but the number of people who sends their letters via the Saint’s well is still very large. Even if you are not a believer, this a picturesque sight, and probably an oportunity to taste some souvenirs and typical Limenian desserts at the little food stalls that are installed nearby only for this day.

Many people also visits the village of Santa Rosa de Quives, located on the road to Canta (the Andean region of Lima), named hence the saint, who lived there as a child; believers visit her house, her well, and the little village’s church. This excursion will also allow you to enjoy the Andean (930m of altitude) sunny and dry weather, as well as the lovely countryside landscape. Not far from here you will find the Petroglyphs of Checta, and other local attractions.

While in Quives you can enjoy local gastronomy’s specialties (like the pachamanca), horse rides and hiking. If you wish to stay here for more than one day during this long weekend, you should book your accomodation right now.

Saint Rose's former house.


(All photos courtesy of J. Enrique Molina)