International Education Week – El Mes Morado
Considering that Peru is a country that largely practices Catholicism, October is a very special month for the city of Lima as it consists of religious processions, turrón, and the color purple. This month is known to be as “el Mes Morado” (the purple month) to honor el Señor de Los Milagros (Lord/Christ of Miracles). Luckily, I attended the very last procession on November 1st and was able to experience one of the largest religious ceremonies in the world.
The experience was genuinely one of its kind. I went to El Centro Histórico de Lima (the historic center of Lima) and the place was crowded with people, the streets were full and nearly everyone was dressed in purple. From a distance, I was able to see the procession that was taking place as the priest and ministers who were on a huge stage. Around the center, there were street vendors selling a variety of food, snacks, and items like corn, popcorn, turrón, mazamorra, arroz con leche, inka cola, bracelets, hats, rosaries, umbrellas, and so on. The streets were flooded in purple and people genuinely devoted to their religion.
P.S. Turrón is a sweet that consists of dough, sugar, honey, and different types of sprinkles.
El Señor de Los Milagros is a mural of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas found in the district of Pachacamilla. It was painted in the 17th century by a slave from Angola named Pedro Dalcón. The story states that on the 13th of November of 1655 there was a huge earthquake that nearly wiped out the whole city with destroyed homes, buildings, roads, and thousands of casualties. One of the only things that was left standing was this mural which was considered a miracle by those who lived there. The mural and color purple represent the faith and devotion that a lot of people have to the Catholic religion. Now, the month is traditionally celebrated as people wear purple and go to several processions where the image is carried around the city.
As a Chicana, I can relate to the importance of this religious image as it mirrors what La Virgen de Guadalupe means for a large portion of my community. El Señor de Los Milagros is part of Peru’s patrimonial pride and identity. This is traditionally celebrated globally by Peruvians in different regions in the world. For example, one of my professors lived in NYC for quite some time and found that this month is also celebrated in the states (there also seems to be a replica of this mural as well).