New Year Traditions in Peru
In Peru, New Year’s carries many traditions with deep meanings that make it a fascinating place to celebrate this important holiday. Unique customs are observed with family and friends in order to bring new luck for the New Year.
Many Peruvians start New Year’s Eve by making a baño de florecimiento, or flower bath. They mix flowers and perfume together in a large pot and boil this in water to make a fragrant mixture that they pour over themselves after having showered. This is believed to bring good luck with relationships, one’s career, and life opportunities.
Another custom that is common is to wear yellow underwear on New Year’s, which is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Weeks before the New Year and throughout Peru, vendors can be seen in the main plazas and on the streets selling different styles of yellow underwear. Although yellow is clearly the most popular color worn, other colors are also sold with a specific purpose in mind. For example, those are looking for love may choose to wear red underwear which represents passion, and those specifically looking for financial success may wear green.
At midnight, fireworks and smoke fill the sky as thousands of people take to the street and light off their own fireworks. Everyone hugs and wishes each other a happy New Year, and after that, they begin to feast. First, Peruvians eat 12 grapes; each grape represents one month and one wish that you make. They also drink hot chocolate and eat paneton, a sweet bread filled with raisins and small pieces of dried fruit or gelatin candy. For Christmas for the main meal, Peruvians generally eat caldo de gallina, or chicken soup, because when a chicken eats it scratches backward at the ground. As the end of the year is coming, they are leaving the past behind. However, for New Year’s, chancho, or pork, is prepared and eaten because when a pig eats, it moves forward. Therefore, Peruvians eat pork on New Year’s because they are looking towards the future and hoping for good news.
All of these Peruvian traditions are observed in hopes of bringing in a prosperous New Year. We at Cusi Travel would like to wish you all a happy New Year filled with success and good luck!