5 Christmas traditions that only exist in Peru
1. Southern Black Christmas and its folk dances
South of Peru near the department of Ica, is the province of Cañete. Between dances and songs its inhabitants come together to welcome the baby Jesus. The little ones start a zapateo as a promise to their ancestors to commemorate this birth. The joy of children, the applause of adults and musical instruments such as the donkey jaw and the drawer, are part of this great Creole-Afro-Peruvian holiday.
2. Santurantikuy and the Plaza de Armas in Cusco
If one of the things you enjoy most when visiting a new place is its architecture, then you will love this beautiful Inca city. Artisans from the regions gather in the Plaza de Armas to exhibit their creations full of color in the Santurantikuy which means “the sale of the saints”, the craft market that opens on December 24. The "Manuelito child" is one of the most representative crafts that are marketed in this fair as a representation of the Jesus child. There it is said that it is the bells of the cathedral of Cusco that announce his birth and not those of Bethlehem of the East. Be sure to visit this beautiful fair and get away from its crafts.
3.The traditional Mass of Rooster
On December 24 at night, before Christmas dinner, families go to church to celebrate this Mass that commemorates the birth of Jesus, narrated through the Gospel of the Bible and the readings. In this ceremony people take their own images of the child to place them in the manger or main birth of the temple. The Mass of Gallo is celebrated in various regions of Peru as well as in other Latin American countries but in these it is known by different names.
4. Family Christmas in Lima
In the capital, this holiday is celebrated with lights, huge Christmas trees and a great offer in commerce. The families meet on the night of December 24 and prepare a dinner with turkey, hot chocolate with cloves and cinnamon, panettone, applesauce and of course the traditional and delicious Pisco Sour. Births in stone and altarpieces with religious images are important for the inhabitants of the Andean region of Peru which they use to decorate their houses or also to give to their loved ones. If you dream of knowing Lima, Christmas is one of the best times of the year to do it.
Christmas in Lima, Peru
5.Births in Puno
After midnight on December 24, some families often read coca leaves as an omen of events that are about to happen in the new year. Similarly, the "Children's Fair" offers an unimaginable amount of decorated births, made in different techniques by artisans in the region.
The Christmas Cake
The singing of Christmas carols, is just one of the samples of cultural fusion that Peru has. The Spanish and Inca traditions converge in this great celebration of December that every year evokes the best of the Andean culture. Its cuisine, architecture, history and crafts are part of this great wealth that you can not miss.