Multi-coloured candles are an important part of decorations on religious occasions in the Latin American republic of Peru.
Multi-coloured candles are an important part of decorations on religious occasions in the Latin American republic of Peru. And Christmas is no exception.
SYNOPSIS: The making of these candles is considered an art in Peru. Artisans like Victor Del Mar de Los Rios and his wife have a busy time before Christmas as they get ready to meet the big demand.
They make candles of all sizes and shapes...depicting scenes from the country's social, cultural and religious life. Some candles show figures of Peruvian dancers, performing traditional dances. A small instrument is used to carve the designs.
Victor is one of those craftsmen who have learnt the art from their parents and are keeping a family tradition alive.
He and his family moved nine years ago to Lima from Cuzco, about 350 miles (560 kilometres) from the Peruvian capital. One of the innovations that he had added is the size of some of the candles, which are dipped well into paint before being carved.
Some of them can be as high as three feet (about one metre), with a proportional diameter. This also allows him a lot of room to carve the designs. The candles are particularly popular in the mountain districts of the country, most of whose population is Roman Catholic. They are also exported in large numbers as pieces of Peruvian art.