New year Celebration in Peru
With 2014 coming so close now, people all over the world are preparing New Year Celebrations for December 31. For some others, New Year is celebrated on other dates, such as India, Iran, Turkey, China, etc.
For every culture in the world, the beginning of a New Year has a particular implication and each one of them receives the New Year in different ways. Also Peru has its own, typical rituals and superstitions to dismiss the old year and to welcome the New Year with new hopes and new plans and projects.
In Peru, on New Year’s Eve, many people attend a party somewhere in town while others receive the New Year at home with friends and family. After a delicious dinner and a few minutes before midnight, the radio stations and Peruvian television announce and finally start the countdown. When clock strikes Midnight everyone hugs and kisses each other with good wishes and either champagne, wine or, Pisco sour, all with loud music, fireworks, firecrackers and rockets at the background. Unlike the Christmas dinner, a typical Peruvian New Year dinner is very varied and lasts for several hours. They are usually large banquets where the favorite dishes are turkey and pork in the oven, accompanied by a variety of salads and rice.
One of Peru’s most famous typical rituals is the one with the grapes; twelve grapes should be eaten during the final countdown and people make one wish for every grape they eat. Six of the grapes should be green and six should be purple.
Another popular New Year tradition in Peru is the use of yellow underwear: according to the local people, the yellow underwear attracts positive energy for the coming year. And according to the tradition, you have to wear it inside out, and change it (wearing it the right way) immediately after Midnight!
Another favorite popular tradition in Peru is the burning of dolls or rag dolls that represent the old year. The dolls of are made of old clothes, wood, cardboard or paper. People burn the dolls at Midnight, thus symbolizing the abolition of all the negative energy and the bad luck of the old year and the transition to a new year full of new hopes.
Some dolls not only represent the Old Year but represent a famous national person that has been controversial during the last year, e.g. people of national politics or sports life. The fire produced by the burning of the dolls, is used to burn fireworks.
Other New Year traditions in Peru are:
- Walk the entire block around your house (or where ever you are at Midnight) with an empty suitcase, if you want to make a big trip next year.
- Change of clothing, to strengthen your relationship with the partner.
- Welcome the year with a bunch of cash in hand, or inside the shoes, to attract prosperity.
- Pour rice under the doorframe of the living room for an upcoming wedding.
- Wear white clothes, to keep diseases and illness.
- Carry a burning candle to welcome the New Year, in order to ensure peace and harmony at home. The candle should be lit until fully consumed.
- To have economic prosperity, some people wash their hands, at midnight with champagne and sugar.
- Take a bath of essences to purify the soul.
Most young people in Peru, after having completed the family dinner at home, gather in groups on the streets and go afterwards in a bar or nightclub while the adults remain at home where they have their own party, with loud salsa or other Peruvian music such a vals from the famous Peruvian singer Eva Ayllon and others.
As a very popular Peruvian phrase says: ¡¡¡”Vamos a despedir el año viejo con bombos y platillos”!! Or, in English: let’s say goodbye to the old year with big great fanfare!
Happy New Year to all!!