Each October, one of Peru’s most important and well attended local festivals takes place in Lima, the Procession of the Lord of the Miracles, or El Señor de los Milagros. October is known as Mes Morado (or the purple month) as festival goers dress from head to toe in purple as a sign of their devotion to El Señor. 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 belted with a white cord.
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Drawing the largest number of participants in South America each year, the procession is held across several days with one 24-hour event hosting thousands of purple clad worshippers. Festival celebrants dress in purple tunics, sing hymns and pray as they accompany a large platform featuring the painting of El Señor from the church of Las Nazarenas where it is housed down the procession route. 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.
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The Procession of the Lord of the Miracles originated 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. This symbolic image stayed on the wall despite several attempts to erase it and survived an earthquake in 1746 which leveled all surrounding buildings. Accordingly, the principal day of the celebration of the Lord of the Miracles is 28th October, the anniversary of the 1746 earthquake.