Christmas in Peru

611 Words3 Pages
Christmas in Peru Christmas is a special time in South America and Peruvians love the holiday. While there is a strong indigenous population, most Peruvians are Roman Catholics and it is understandable that Christmas is a very big holiday in the country. While some celebrations are similar to those in Europe and North America, there are some unique traditions that reflect the nation's history and make Peru a special place to be during the holidays and one that makes for a great holiday destination. Christmas Traditions in Peru Although North Americans typically celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as with many South American countries like Venezuela and Bolivia, the biggest Christmas celebrations are not on Christmas Day but the night before on Christmas Eve, in Peru it is known as Noche Buena or Good Night. On Christmas Eve religion plays a central role with the misa de gallo or Rooster Mass beginning at 10pm, which is a bit earlier than some other South American countries. Families return at midnight to toast the birth of Baby Jesus with champagne and begin to celebrate Christmas with a large roast turkey dinner and to exchange presents. Christmas Decorations in Peru With a greater outside influence from North America and Europe Christmas trees are slowly starting to appear. While Christmas trees are becoming more popular, traditionally the gifts are brought by Santa Claus, or Nino Jesus and placed near the retablo (manger scene) and most homes still do not have a tree. In some cases, particularly in the Andean region, gifts are not changed until the Epiphany on January 6th and brought by the Three Wise Men. In Peru the nativity scene is very popular and can be found in every home. Known as retablos they are a form of folk art with paintings and carvings from wood of religious events. These are particularly relevant in Peru as it is what priests initially
Open Document