The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a rather big deal in certain parts of Peru. It is a national holiday falling on 8 December, and some celebrate beginning on 7 December.
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Catholic traditions have Mary being conceived by her mother Saint Anne – her father being Saint Joachim, on 8 December. The doctrine states that she was preserved from all sin from the moment of her conception and throughout her entire life.
Throughout Peru, devout Catholics throng into local churches for special Immaculate Conception services on 8 December. Some churches hold multiple services this day and may have services during the preceding week as well. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pucallpa, Ucayali is the namesake church of this holiday in Peru and is popular to visit for Immaculate Conception.
In and around Cusco, Immaculate Conception is a day of parades all up and down the city streets, public feasting and drinking, and performing of traditional dances. In few other parts of the country is the sinless conception and life of the Virgin Mary commemorated with such vigor and enthusiasm as in Cusco. Lima is also a centre or activity, however, and there are special events in towns all over the length and breadth of Peru.
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