Many say Lima is like London. That is, Lima is usually foggy. But during the days after New Year’s celebration, the skies of Lima look even foggier as clouds of smoke and the smell of powder fill the skies. Just as at Christmas, Peruvians celebrate New Year’s with fireworks that start on the evening of the 31st, peak at midnight, and go on till the early hours of the first day of the new year.
Some gather with family and friends and have a turkey dinner which is very similar to a Christmas dinner in Peru. Teenagers and young adults prefer parties, similar to the ones one could find in any other large city around the world. Others prefer to travel and especially to take advantage of the large coast in Peru to spend New Year’s camping at the beach. Children, on the other hand, enjoy watching effigies filled with fireworks explode at midnight.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about New Year’s celebration in Peru is the “cabala.” Cabala is any ritual you perform with the belief that this would bring you good luck. During New Year’s many Peruvians like to do cabalas in order to bring luck to them and their families for the coming year. One of the most famous cabalas for New Year is 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 and some do it just for the fun of it. At any rate, it just looks colorful and funny to see people running around the streets with empty suitcases at 1 a.m. It adds to the flavor Peruvian culture one can enjoy here.