Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

June 29 is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It´s celebrated with huge festivals and parades in coastal communities like Chorrillos (where I live) because St. Peter is the patron saint of fisherman.

Vendors line the streets selling food, artesania and clothing. Some of the streets are closed to create a marketplace. On the pier, statues of St. Peter and the Virgin Mary await the procession that will take place in the afternoon. Many people come up and touch them.

Near the beach, people have gathered to watch a couple of street actors. Sonia recognizes one of them as someone who used to have a show on TV, which was canceled because it was considered to be in bad taste. They periodically pull people from the audience to participate in their skits. When I arrive, they call me Harry Potter and proceed to perform a skit about an American who is visiting Lima.

The parade is supposed to begin at 10:00, but at 11:30 we find the streets packed with people, and groups of uniformed participants still trying to organize themselves into a parade. Eventually the parade begins and the people give them enough space to pass. There are army reservists, nurses from a nearby hospital, and groups of students and teachers from all the local schools.

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