The Day of the Dead or ‘Día de los Difuntos’ is celebrated across Peru on the 1st and 2nd of November every year as a time for families to remember and honour their departed relatives.
Often, a special meal containing the deceased person’s favourite foods will be prepared on the 1st, with the first and largest plate being placed on a type of shrine or altar. They may also display the person’s favourite items or drink and the typical Tanta w’awa or baby bread.
On the 2nd, the families will go to the cemetery to place flowers on the graves and to celebrate and remember the deceased person’s life. In some areas of Peru, there are still communities that go to the cemetery on the night of the 1st, with the belief that the dead will rise from their graves at midnight to take part in the feast.
In the Andean culture death is a continuation of life, and a way to connect with dead people is through offerings. Typically these offerings in the Cusco region contain ‘Tanta W’awa’ or ‘baby bread’ a type of doll made from dough. To try some traditional ‘wawa bread’ head to the San Pedro Market to see local women selling wawa bread.