The following schedule highlights all of the major annually recurring events that take place in Lima and the wider Lima Metropolitan Area (including Callao). These include traditional festivals unique to Lima, Peruvian national holidays that are particularly vibrant in the capital, and modern events such as major food and book fairs.
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- Adoración de Reyes Magos (Epiphany), January 6 -- The Adoración de Reyes Magos (“Adoration of The Magi,” or the Three Wise Men) is celebrated throughout Peru to varying extents. In Lima, three mounted policemen take on the roles of the Three Wise Men, riding through the city center carrying the traditional offerings, which are then placed on the balcony of the Municipality building.
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- Carnaval, throughout February -- Peru’s carnival season takes place throughout February. Lima is one of the best places to be for the carnival shows and shenanigans, with free concerts and other events taking place across the city. But it’s the traditional carnival water wars that tend to take all the headlines, with kids and adults spraying everyone with water, sometimes to such an extent that the police have to calm them all down.
- Día del Pisco Sour, first Saturday of February -- National Pisco Sour Day is the perfect excuse for a few drinks, so look for bars and restaurants across Lima offering special deals on pisco sours.
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- Fiesta de la Vendimia de Surco (Surco Wine Harvest Festival), dates vary -- The Santiago de Surco District of Lima has been celebrating its wine harvest festival for more than 75 years. Along with plenty of wine, expect beauty contests (and beauty queens trampling grapes), food fairs, fireworks and dancing.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week), March and/or April, nationwide
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- Semana Santa (Holy Week), March and/or April, nationwide
- Anniversary of the Constitutional Province of Callao, April 22 -- On April 22, 1857, the port area of Callao was declared a Constitutional Province, creating what remains today a unique administrative region of Peru. Callao itself is considered part of the wider Lima Metropolitan Area, but chalacos -- as people from Callao are known -- remain fiercely proud of their precise origins.
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- Lima Jazz Festival, normally mid-April -- Lima’s annual jazz festival continues to attract the best jazz bands from Peru, as well as other artists from across the world.
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- Corpus Christi, May/June -- Corpus Christi is a huge event in Cusco, but the religious processions in Lima are also impressive. Corpus Christi is a movable feast, taking place sometime between May 21 and June 24.
- Lima Marathon, May -- The annual Lima42k marathon is the principal event of its kind in Peru, attracting world-class runners from across the globe.
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- Inti Raymi/San Juan, June 24 -- Despite Inti Raymi being a Cusco-based event and the Festival of San Juan being very much a jungle affair, parties and events are nonetheless held in Lima.
- Día Nacional del Cebiche, June 28 -- A national day in honor of ceviche, with plenty of ceviche-related events and offers across the capital.
- Día de San Pedro y San Pablo, June 29 -- A national holiday in Peru for Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Keep an eye open for maritime processions along the coastal districts.
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- Virgen del Carmen, July 16 (central day) -- On July 16, colorful processions carry the image of the Virgen del Carmen from a church in the Barrios Altos neighborhood through the streets of the historic center of Lima. The Virgen is the patron of música criolla, so there’s always plenty of music -- as well as food -- along the route.
- The Lima International Book Fair, second half of July -- The Feria Internacional del Libro de Lima (FIL-Lima) has been taking place since 1995.
- National Pisco Day, fourth Sunday of July -- Lima is one of the best places to be for the Día del Pisco, with bars and restaurants providing plenty of pisco-related promotions.
- Independence Day, July 28 and 29 -- The Fiestas Patrias celebrations are among the biggest of the year, with military parades during the day and much revelry at night.
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- Lima Film Festival, first two weeks of August (may vary) -- Lima’s film festival, the Festival de Cine de Lima, has been going since 1997, showcasing and awarding prizes to the best of Latin American cinema.
- Anniversary of Callao, August 20 -- Civic parades, gastronomic and musical events, fireworks and beer all help Callao celebrate its anniversary.
- Lima Half Marathon, late August -- Lima’s annual half marathon has been going since 1909, which -- according to the event organizers -- makes it the oldest half marathon in South America, as well as the oldest in the Americas and possibly in the world.
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- Saint Rose of Lima Day, August 30 -- A national holiday in honor of Saint Rose, the first Catholic to be canonized in the Americas and later the patron saint of Lima and Latin America.
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- Mistura, multi-day gastronomic event held in September -- Mistura began in 2008 and continues to grow each year, now claiming the title of the biggest food fair in Latin America. It remains an unrivaled culinary event on the Peruvian calendar.
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- Battle of Angamos, October 8 -- Yet another national holiday, this time in remembrance of the Battle of Angamos, a decisive naval battle between Peru and Chile on October 8, 1879.
- El Señor de los Milagros, October -- The image of El Señor de los Milagros is the focal point for the largest religious congregation in South America, in which purple-robed devotees lead the procession through the streets of Lima.
- Día de la Canción Criolla, October 31, Lima -- A day for music across Peru and particularly in the capital, with locals -- and local musicians -- celebrating música criolla.
- Feria Taurino del Señor de los Milagros, October/November -- Perhaps the most important bullfighting event in South America, held each year in October or November in the historic Plaza de Toros de Acho.
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- Día de Todos los Santos and Día de los Difuntos, November 1 and 2 -- All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Day of the Dead) are a mixture of family feasting and religious observance and remembrance.
- Festividad de San Martín de Porres, November 3 -- Martín de Porres was born in Lima in 1579 and later died there on November 3, 1639. His death is remembered each year, with religious gatherings taking place across Lima.
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- Inmaculada Concepción, December 8 -- The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is a national holiday in Peru, with religious parades -- some colorful, others somber -- taking place across the country and in the streets of the capital.
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25 -- Christmas in Peru is generally a colorful and family-oriented event. Lima has plenty of decorations and Christmassy events, but is a little more commercial than in other parts of the country, so keep that in mind when deciding where to spend Christmas in Peru.