Lord of the Miracles (El Senor de los Milagros)
All of October - principal days 18th, 19th & October 28th.
This procession gathers together the largest number of believers in South America. Its' origins lie in colonial times, when a slave, brought over from Angola, drew the image of a black Christ on the walls of a wretched hut at the Pachacamilla plantation, near Lima. The image stayed on the wall despite several attempts to erase it.
The image survived intact on the wall despite an earthquake in 1746 which leveled all surrounding buildings. As a result of this event, worship of the image rose to new heights, until it became the most widely venerated image in the city of Lima. The principal day of the celebration of the Lord of the Miracles is 28th October, the anniversary of the 1746 earthquake.
The procession in Lima is one of the largest annual processions in all of the Americas, where tens of thousands of the faithful dress in purple tunics, sing hymns and pray as they accompany the image. The litter which bears the painting weighs two tons and is borne on the shoulders of believers who set out on the traditional 24-hour procession from the church of Las Nazarenas, crossing downtown Lima until it reaches the church of La Merced in Barrios Altos. Around this time of year, the streets fill with vendors of a wide variety of typical dishes and sweets, such as the famous Turrón de Doña Pepa.
Female followers of the Lord of the Miracles often wear purple for the entire month of October, and are easily identifiable by a purple dress, sashed with a white cord. There is a modest celebration in Cusco and a big procession in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.