The great culture of ancient Peru is also expressed by a legacy of a wide variety of native languages that co-exist in its territory. Spanish is the official language and is used in most of the country. Other languages have been recognized by the Constitution, such as Quechua, which is spoken in many Andean regions in different varieties, and Aimara, the predominant language of the southern Andes.
Shipibo, Ashaninka and Aguaruna, used by Amazon communities, are just some of the country’s 43 native languages.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental right in Peru’s culture, although Catholicism is the main religion, another legacy of the Spanish. Religious festivals have strong Spanish influence, but they are also an example of how different beliefs and religions of Peru’s pre-Hispanic cultures coexist.
Festivals: The coming together of different creeds, customs and experiences have created close to 3,000 annual popular festivals in Peru, including patron saint feasts, processions, carnivals and rituals, encompassing the expression of belief in God, respect for nature and the celebration of freedom. Peruvian festivals have a mystical side to them; most of them are the result of a fusion between Catholicism and pre-Hispanic religious traditions. Repaying the earth is part of the main celebrations in all regions, and is about rewarding and recognizing the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for her endless generosity.