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Peruvian Fiestas : Christmas in Peru

Christmas in Peru

CHRISTMAS IN PERU

The rural context of the arrival of the infant Christ allowed early Peruvians to identify immediately with the festivity, highlighted by artisan creativity, a sense of aesthetics and the religious devotion of Andean settlers. Andean Christmas began taking on characteristics of its own by adding elements from each region. These elements stand out for the extreme care with which highlanders put together Nativity scenes in churches and homes, perform dances and plays, cook typical dishes and produce a wide range of handicrafts such as Nativity scenes in Huamanga stone, retablos featuring images related to Christmas and pottery or carved gourds called mates burilados decorated with Yuletide scenes. In most Andean communities, the festival continues until la Bajada de los Reyes (the arrival of the three wise men), January 6, when traditionally people exchange gifts.

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