Login

Sign Up

After creating an account, you'll be able to track your payment status, track the confirmation and you can also rate the tour after you finished the tour.
Username*
Password*
Confirm Password*
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone*
Country*
* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.

Already a member?

Login

Login

Sign Up

After creating an account, you'll be able to track your payment status, track the confirmation and you can also rate the tour after you finished the tour.
Username*
Password*
Confirm Password*
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
Phone*
Country*
* Creating an account means you're okay with our Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.

Already a member?

Login

Christmas in Peru

The end of the year is a special time throughout much of the world. Peru is no exception, with colorful celebrations and traditions in different parts of the country. Similar to many cultures, this is a time where family and friends meet to eat delicious food and practice yearly traditions.

A distinguishing feature of Christmas in Peru is the blending of Catholic and indigenous traditions.   In fact, this is fascinating aspect of most holidays and festivals in the country, makes travel in Peru very special.  From Christmas Eve through New Year Day, tradition is alive throughout the country, and Cusco is a fabulous example.

Christmas in Cusco

In the days leading up to Christmas,  Cusco´s Plaza de Armas fills with artisans from across Peru.  The reason for the gathering is Santurantikuy, a fair thats name means “selling of the saints” in Quechua.   Dating back to 1834, Santurantikuy is known for the handcrafted nativity figures used by Peruvians to create homemade nativity scenes.  On Christmas Eve, the city gathers in the plaza to shop, socialize and enjoy time with family.  Fun aspects of the fair including sipping hot rum punch, dancing, and fireworks.   Come see for yourself this Christmas and pick up your own nativity llama or alpaca!

Later in the day, locals continue to by attending a late Catholic mass.  From there, they normally return home to exchange gifts and enjoy an elaborate dinner with family and friends around midnight.  Desert follows, including hot chocolate made with cloves and cinnamon and panetón, a spongy fruitcake.      

In a distinctly Cuzqueñan tradition, the time between Christmas in Peru and New Year´s Eve is spent carrying the family´s figure of baby Jesus to each church.  The figure receives blessings at each, preparing each family for the year to come.

         

Christmas In Peru 2 Ayni Peru

Welcoming the New Year in Peru

 In Peru, the New Year is welcomed with  fireworks, pisco sours, and an array of fascinating superstitions. Here are a few of the most unique:

  • At midnight on New Year´s Eve, Peruvians eat 12 grapes. Six are green and six purple, to bring good luck for the coming 12 months of the year.
  • To celebrate leaving the past behind, many locals create dolls of past selves or people in the media. The dolls are then lit on fire, often times loaded with fireworks for added effect.
  • To bring good fortune, Peruvians keep beans in their pockets, or coins in their shoes.
  • Washing your hands with a sweet mixture of champagne and sugar, often with flowers of a specific color added to bring a desired outcome in the future.
  • “Tossing out poverty” by throwing 12 coins over your shoulder.

More Superstitions!

To make sure the measures above work, a quick test can be used. Peel one potato fully, one half way, and leave one unpeeled. Put these three potatoes under a sofa and reach in and grab one at random. If you choose the peeled potato your year to come will be full of bad fortune.  Grabbing the unpeeled potato means wealth in the following year, and the half-peeled potato means your bank account will continue as is. What else would you expect in the potato capital of the world?

The color clothes you wear as you ring in the New Year matters as well.  The colors you wear are based on what you wish for in the coming year.   This includes Red brings love, green for prosperity, white for health, and yellow for luck and happiness.  Yellow is particularly common especially for underwear.  Furthermore, if you wear yellow underwear, it should be worn inside out before midnight, then quickly changed right side around quickly after.  

These are just a few of the many wonderful traditions followed on New Year´s Eve in Peru. Come explore for yourself, and ring in your new year with good luck, health, and love!  If you´re interested in spending Christmas in Peru, consider one of our Cusco and Machu Picchu packages, or contact Ayni for a free custom itinerary quote.