Peru: Christmas Traditions

Hello, Dear reader!

Are you travelling to Peru during December? We assure you that coming to Peru to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones will be a bran new experience for you!

Keep reading and learn all interesting facts about Peruvian Christmas Traditions!

Peruvian Christmas ornaments
Peruvian Christmas ornaments 

First of all, we have heard people asking if Peru celebrates Christmas or not

  • And the answer is Yes! Remember that Peru and the Inca culture were conquered by the spaniards and they brought with them their religious beliefs such as Catholicism. With this in mind, let’s start!

What Christmas Traditions does Peru has?

Santurantikuy (Cusco)
If you still haven’t gotten the gifts for all your loved ones, in the region of Cusco, it’s not a problem at all. During the Christmas season, specifically in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, the Santurantikuy begins, which is a Christmas fair that dates back to the sixteenth century. In the past, in these stores you could buy chests, which were medium-sized wooden trunks that were filled with souvenirs. These were only acquired by people linked to religion and noble families.

They sold textiles, the classic Toritos de Pucará, religious and Christmas-themed handicrafts -such as small trees or the popular nativity scenes- and even food and drink. Since 2009, this fair was proclaimed Cultural Heritage of Peru.

Santiratikuy Fair

Santiratikuy Fair Peru

Misa de Gallo (Rooster Mass)
We had already mentioned that Peru has a strong religious current. The religion with the most followers is Catholicism and in its churches the traditional Misa de gallo is celebrated. This takes place on the 24th (at the end of Christmas Eve) or on the 25th (for those who could not attend at midnight, they do so before starting their daily routine).

During the ceremony, readings related to the arrival of the baby Jesus are read, in addition to the Gospel. It bears this curious name because the Romans linked the crowing of the rooster with the beginning of a new day.

Christmas in Arequipa

Nativity scenes in Puno
While some families usually read coca leaves after 12pm on the 24th as an omen of events that are about to happen in the new year. In Puno there is also, as well as the Santuratikuy Fair in Cusco, the “Children’s Fair”, where an unimaginable amount of decorated nativity scenes are offered, made in different techniques by artisans of the region.

Nativity Scene with “Danza de las Tijeras” thematic

Nativity scenes in Puno

A Peruvian Christmas dinner
It is possible that, if you spend Christmas in Peru, you have a different tradition. It is worth mentioning that in Peru, we celebrate on December 24, Christmas Eve, and families get together and prepare a Christmas dinner, where it is typical to find roast turkey, the delicious panettone, champagne, the delicious and inevitable pisco sour or hot chocolate. The singing of Christmas carols is just one of the samples of cultural fusion that Peru has. However, families try to innovate every year by integrating Peruvian dishes from different parts of the country during this celebration.

It is more common to see in the Andes that there is no ostentatious baked bird in the middle of the table. And it is more often seen that they share with stuffed guinea pigs, pachamanca or baked suckling pig as the main dish. Would you dare to change a traditional meal and try the charms of Peruvian seasoning?

Peru Christmas traditional turkey

The Weather:

It is important to talk about the weather in Peru, because in this case, the idea of drinking hot chocolate in December is not a great idea since Peru is in Summer! So if you are planning to drink hot chocolate, consider that its just because is a christmas tradition and you probably will rather take it early in the morning or at Christmas Even.

So if you are thinking about what to give your family this Christmas, we tell you that a trip is the best gift you can give them.

Tell us…

Would you like to spend your holidays in Peru?

Thank you very much for reading! And if your answer was yes, then you can get more information about holidays in our articles:

  • Holidays in Peru
  • Peruvian gift ideas

We are sure this information will be very interesting to know for your trip to Peru, especially during this holiday season. If you have any doubts, questions or need more information about our country, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thank you for reading!

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