As is known, the Andean region currently celebrates La Candelaria Festivity, one of the Inca nation's most important cultural manifestations, declared UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014.
The corresponding mass was led by Puno's Bishop Jorge Carreon, who called upon the population and authorities to work for the well-being of society, while setting particular interests aside.
The event saw the presence of Culture Minister Salvador del Solar, who decorated Puno's cult of Virgin of Candelaria with Peru's top award the Order of the Sun, in recognition of its contribution to the integration and identity of Peruvian peoples.
"It is a true honor for me to come here on behalf of the President of the Republic [Pedro Pablo Kuczynski] to bestow the Peruvian State's greatest award upon Puno's Virgin of Candelaria," the official underlined.
He stressed Virgin of Candelaria's significance as a symbol of love and unity of peoples and traditions.
"Such unity is Virgin of Candelaria's light," Del Solar expressed.
"I am most excited to award Puno's patron with the highest honor, the Order of the Sun of Peru, Grand Cross class," he added amidst applause.
The event was also attended by Puno Mayor Ivan Flores, Regional Governor Juan Luque, as well as Puno-born legislators.
Following the service, worshippers approached the venerable image with flower bouquets as a sign of reverence.