This country is home to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, in the beautiful South American country of Peru! The vibrant colours are are only the start of their beautiful culture!
Chocolatadas takes place throughout Peru during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
This is a way to share resources with the less fortunate in the country during what is considered to be a blessed time of year.
Children and others are gifted cups full of yummy hot chocolate and Paneton, a delicious white cake filled with dry fruit. Some will also receive various small gifts!
Tonight’s Going To Be A Good, Good Night!
December 24th hosts the main Christmas celebrations in one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world!
La Noche Buena, the Good Night, December 24th on the calendar, begins with Misa de Gallo (evening mass) at the local churches.
After mass, families return to their homes to feast on their elaborately, delicious dinners and exchange and open gifts.
It is up to the personal preferences to the family as to whether they open gifts before or after supper.
After dinner and presents, many citizens will head outside and greet friends and neighbours to keep the celebrations going. Adults will often throw on their dancing shoes and salsa the night away into the wee hours of the morning.
Day of Fights and Rest
December 25th hold two vastly different kinds of activities in this South American country.
For some, they view the day as one of rest and leisure, often visiting family and indulging in leftovers from the night before.
For others, they participate in the Indigenous tradition Takanakuy, literally meaning ‘to hit each other’.
Participants break off into pairs, wrap their hands, exchange of hug, then proceed to physically fight each other.
This is seen as a means to settle any disputes from the previous year that is yet to be resolved, to enter the New Yeear on a clean slate!
On The 12th Day of Christmas
La Bajada de Reyes, Three Kings Day, takes place on January 6th, the 12th Day of Christmas!
According to religious texts, this holiday ties into Epiphany and commemorates the arrival of the three kings who visited Baby Jesus.
Peruvian children write to the Three Kings, Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar, instead of Santa during the holidays!
On January 5th, children write their letters, and leave grass and water outside their doors for the camels to enjoy on their travels.
Children leave their footwear outside their homes so that when the kings are said to visit, they are aware of how many children to leave presents for!
All throughout the beautiful country are festivals and parades to help celebrate this day.
The biggest celebrations happens outside of Cusco in the Sacred Valley, and consists of colourful costumes, traditional dances and three-day festivals!
Many attendees from neighbouring provinces participate in the celebrations by representing and sharing their traditional dances and food with other attendees.
Honouring the Namesake
Lima, the capital of Peru, is also referred to as The City of Kings. This is an incredibly important holiday in the city as Lima was named in honour of the Three Kings!
Citizens reenact the meeting between Jesus and the Three Kings, dressed appropriately in traditional Andean attire.
At the conclusion of the day, families often gather for a meal and officially take down all of their holiday season decorations.
Rosca de Reyes, a sweet candy cake or bread in the shape of a crown baked with fruit, is the traditional desert eaten on this day.
La Bajada de Reyes officially wraps up the holiday season for the country, and opens up the party celebrations for Carnaval!
Turkey, Tamales, Panetón, Oh My!
Considering Peru is widely regarded as one of the top destinations for food lovers in the world, it is no surprise that their Christmas dinner looks and sounds delicious!
Meat and tamales are the traditional staples of the midnight Christmas dinner, with the roasted pork or turkey prepared with a Peruvian spice and herb rub, usually consisting of cumin, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, smoked paprika, ground black pepper and oregano!
Christmas tamales are a family affair, employing the skills of all family members present to assist with the preparation of the tamales.
The Peruvian-style Christmas salad is truly texture-heavy and sounds scrumptious. Colourful combinations of potatoes, carrots, beets and peas are often included within the salad.
Christmas rice rarely gets served without some special additions to it and is often the first dish to be emptied at the dinner table.
While some families with choose a more Asian-influenced chaufa addition to their rice, others will add bacon, almonds, apricots and balsamic vinegar to brighten up the taste!
Applesauce and potatoes are two other dishes that osme families will choose to add to their desserts, with a variety of different methods for delivering a delicious meal.
Although it varies by family, many will serve champagne of the drink of choice to celebrate their Christmas dinner.
Panetón is one of the most important aspects of a Peruvian Christmas. The beginning of December sees stores stocking the shelves with this fruit-filled cake-like bread.
The loaf is passed around at the conclusion of dinner, with some steaming hot chocolate to boast!
Peru and Road Coffee
Peru has a special place in our hearts as this is our first micro-loan coffee, an initiative we have started to help our coffee farmers purchase fermentations tanks to continually improve the quality of their coffee!
This wildly delicious and complex coffee with have you wanting more! The best way to describe it is as follows: a piece of black forest cake topped with fresh cherries. How delicious, right?!
We can’t wait for you to try this delicious light to medium roast, and look forward to continuing to help change farmers lives with your help!
Author Jordan Calladine