National Holidays in Peru

Christmas Day in Cusco
••• Christmas Day in Cusco, a national holiday in Peru. Nigel Pavitt/AWL Images/Getty Images

The table below highlights all of the annual national holidays in Peru. Some of the holidays, such as Holy Week (a moveable feast) and Christmas, are celebrated throughout much of the world, while others are unique to the Peruvian calendar.

In an effort to increase internal tourism, the Peruvian government sometimes creates a number of non-traditional días no laborales (non-work days), known as "bridge holidays" or simply "long holidays," providing additional days off work throughout the year.

These days normally fall immediately before or after a national holiday, creating extended holiday periods.

Whether the new government, elected in 2016, will continue to create these extended holidays remains to be seen. According to a study by the Institute of Economics and Business Development of the Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, every additional holiday created by the government generated losses of about $400 million in domestic production.

Traveling During Peruvian Holidays

Peruvians are often on the move during public holidays, particularly major national holidays such as Christmas, New Year and Good Friday, so transport and accommodation prices sometimes rise.

More importantly, it's worth trying to purchase plane and bus tickets further in advance than normal, as seats can sell out quickly for the days before, during and after a national holiday. Travelers, therefore, should consider making advanced reservations for bus journeys and flights during these periods.

The same applies for hostel and hotel room reservations during the most popular or important holiday periods. Finding a room in Cusco or Puno during Holy Week, for example, can be difficult if you leave your reservation until the last minute (you'll find something, but your options could be slightly limited).

For all major festivals and events in Peru, see Peru Month by Month

National Holidays in Peru

January 1New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)Always a big party the night before, which continues on January 1.
March/AprilMaundy Thursday (Jueves Santo)The day of the Last Supper.
March/AprilGood Friday (Viernes Santo)Commemorating the Passion, or the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. These parades can be quite solemn.
May 1Labor Day (Día del Trabajador)This normally involves a large amount of beer.
June 29St. Peter and St. Paul Day (Día de San Pedro y San Pablo)Commemorating the martyrdom of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
July 28 and 29Independence Day (Día de la Independencia / Fiestas Patrias)Parades and plenty of partying.
August 30St. Rose of Lima Day (Día de Santa Rosa de Lima)A day in honor of Peru's most famous saint.
October 8Battle of Angamos (Combate de Angamos)Remembering a key battle during the War of the Pacific against Chile, and the death of Peruvian naval hero Admiral Miguel Grau.
November 1All Saints' Day (Día de Todos los Santos)A colorful day with plenty of family feasting.
December 8Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción)A major religious feast day in Peru and throughout the Catholic regions of the world.
December 25Christmas DayDoesn't really need much explaining. It's Christmas!