Blessing of the Car ceremony in the Southern Andes.

Proud owner of a newly blessed car.

In my last trip to Peru I stumbled upon a ceremony where people came to have their vehicles blessed by a priest in the parking lot of a 200 year old church.  The priest from the church was going car to car and showering cars, people, engines, tires and grandmas alike with holy water as well as blessings to ensure the people safe travel.  The church, located up a mountain from San Salvador in a tiny enclave named Huanca, hosts the ceremony every year and the 200 or so people had driven from all around Southern Peru.


The 200 year old church which hosts the ceremony is an hour East of Cusco, the city in the South of Peru that one goes to before venturing on to Machu Picchu.

Elder Andean women celebrating the ceremony by passing cups of beer.

Firecrackers were ubiquitous in the church parking lot.

The priest of the church bestowed blessings and holy water on the cars, its parts in entirety (engine, interior, tires, etc..) and as well as all of the family members.

In a side building off of the parking lot where candles are lite for prayers or in memorium.  (Note the car icons formed in wax in the lower center.)

A couple with their blessed car.

The priest blesses the photographer.

Taxis, personal vehicles and giant trucks were all part of the ceremony.  (Note the womans hair tie)

Confetti, holy water and beer were poured onto the engine of this typical taxi of Southern Peru.

Entire families attended the ceremonies.  (Note the man in the background at right pouring a beer onto the engine.)

The typical dress of Andean women mixes Andean and Spanish influences.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. I really enjoy your blog. Your photos are breathtaking!

  2. Would you mind if I linked to this on my blog? I saw parts of this while travelling in Peru recently, but not the ceremony itself. You capture it beautifully here.

      1. It will go up on the weekend. Thanks!

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