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From the second half of February to the first week of March Peruvian carnivals are marked by the festive character of Andean areas, which regularly break with their solemn traditions.
Beyond regional variations, a common characteristic of nearly the entire highland chain is the ritual of the yunza, called umisha in the jungle and cortamonte on the coast.
It involves artificially planting a tree trunk laden with gifts, around which the guests dance until it is chopped with a machete or an ax. The couple who make the final hack that brings down the tree will then both be in charge of organizing the yunza next year.
Peruvians across the country are extremely fond of tossing buckets of water at each other during this festival, so onlookers would be wise to take precautions. Cities where carnivals reach a high point include Cajamarca and Puno.
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