Peru country Manager Daniel Salazar talks about the different ways people celebrate New Year’s Eve in Peru as well as some local traditions.
That is actually a difficult question to answer as there are many regions with completely different cultures and so various ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Peru. But most people in Peru celebrate it in one of the following ways:
Have a nice dinner
While in the U.S. you probably have those nice dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, in Peru, since we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we only have the latter two. So Peruvians try to make them really special. During Christmas the dinner is basically turkey, rice, potato salad, and apple puree. But the New Year’s Eve dinner is usually more varied, with pork, chicken, and a variety of rice and salads.
Party like crazy
Just as in many other cultures around the world, people love to party for New Year’s Eve in Peru. If you are in a big city like Lima or Arequipa, you probably have many clubs, casinos, restaurants, etc. where you can get live music, and a nice New Year’s Eve dinner. If, however, you are in a more rural area, you would go to your village’s main square to party alongside your community.
Another thing Peruvians from the big cities love to do is to travel, especially to the beach. Seriously, a lot of young people try to go camp at the beach to receive the New Year. Peru has a pretty long coastline so this a huge thing for Peruvians. So if you need me on New Year’s Eve you know where to find me.
New Year’s Eve in Peru can be weird too
Yesterday I went to the market and everything was yellow. That isn’t that weird. But it was weird to see an obnoxiously huge amount of yellow underwear displayed all around the market. As in other cultures, some Peruvians believe that this brings good energy. Apparently you have to wear them backwards first and then after midnight wear them the right way.
Another weird thing I’m not particularly proud about my culture is the tradition of running around the block with an empty suitcase. (Yes, it is weird and it looks as crazy as you think it does). But many people in Lima are superstitious, although some do it just for the fun of it.
We have talked about this before. No matter where you go or what you do, in Peru you will always have fireworks for New Year’s Eve. It is as unorganized and crazy as it is on Christmas Eve, but also equally awesome to watch.