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Christmas in Peru

It starts as a passing word mentioned by a coworker, quickly spreading to local billboards and radio stations, and finally, you know its that time of year when you hear the jingle jingle outside every supermarket, Christmas is coming.  As “the most wonderful time of the year”, its no wonder families around the world choose to celebrate this festive occasion with their loved ones. Here we will go over a few of the differences Santa might see as he visits the country of Peru each year. 

Summer Santa

For most of Peru, there is no such thing as a “White Christmas”, as Christmas arrives only a few days after celebrating the first day of summer.  Children in Peru can enjoy their gifts all day every day without hindrance as Santa arrives each year during the school seasons summer break.

Trees are coming to town

When you think of Christmas, one of the first things that come to mind are Christmas Trees, housing a years worth of good deeds under their branches.  While not traditionally a staple of the years festivities, the Christmas Tree has been increasing in popularity as a popular part of the season due to influence from countries such as the United States or Europe.  Expect a brightly colored assortment of hand crafted decorations vibrant in local culture. 

On the night before Christmas

Traditionally December 25th is the big day when it comes to old Saint Nicks time to shine, in Peru the big day(or night in this case), is Christmas Eve.  At 10pm Peruvians attend a church service known as a Rooster Mass, named as such to depict the Rooster said to have crowed the night Jesus was born.  Families then return home to share in a giant dinner complete with turkey and tamales and start opening their presents. 

And now for a not so silent night

Once all the impressive fireworks displays have ended and the presents are opened, its time for the kids to go to bed, as Christmas eve is a time to get your groove on since many Peruvian adult family members tend to keep the party going until early hours in the morning.  In Peru, December 25th is spent as a day enjoying family and newly opened presents, not to mention recovering from the nights festivities.  

Santa’s personal suggestions

Christmas cheer can be found throughout the country of Peru, but there are a few places that go above and beyond.  In the city of Cusco, in effort to provide some love to those less fortunate, the locals set up stands all across the city providing Hot Chocolate to anyone looking for something hot and delicious to sip on.  For those not enjoying the crowds found in Cusco, expect a slightly more laid back cultural vibe in Arequipa, where you can view the many parades or join in on the many parties or events you will find around town. 

While Christmas in Peru might not be exactly white, or have Santa heading down any Chimneys, one thing is sure, Mr. Clause knows how to spread cheer for you and your family to enjoy. 

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