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Christmas Eve in Lima, Peru

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, December 24, 2009

Well we are finally a few hours away from the Eve of Christmas and the house is in full motion as both mom and grandma continue to rush to finish the Christmas dinner.  Since our flight to Cuzco tomorrow is scheduled for 7am we have to be there at 5am, which means have to be awake at 3:30am, therefore this years Christmas dinner will take place at 5:30pm so we can all go to bed early.

In Peru the Christmas dinner includes either a turkey or lechon (which is a small pig), this is followed by sweet potatoes, salad, Panetone, and champagne.  In recognition of the good ole' U. S. of A., mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh strawberries w/ whipped cream, and noodle salad.  The house is strong with the aromas of a slow roasted turkey which make your mouth water!  I of course have not contributed to the upcoming banquet and instead have been hard at work putting together a list of all the hotels we can stay at in Cusco, as well as all the must see places to visit.  I am super excited especially because I have not been to Cusco and Machu Picchu since 2003.  It will be interesting to see just how much the city has changed since I last visited there.

According to the internet, through the months of December-April are Cuzco's rainy season.  This means I should expect cold temperatures and lots of RAIN.  The good thing is that it is also a time of low traffic for tourists to the ancient capital of the Incas, so there shouldn't be to many other tourists around.

As the sun begins to fall over the Pacific's horizon, we come closer to the beginning of the Christmas festivities.  In Peru, like in many other Latin American countries the people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of on Christmas day (morning) like most Americans do in the States.  Families gather around the table for their Christmas Eve dinner and toast with Champagne at 12am.  Once dinner is finished only then are gifts passed around and opened in a fashion similar to the United States.  At 12am most people will take to the streets and set off a wide variety of fireworks in celebration of the birth of Christ.  It is truly a wonderful and unique experience.  It is important to keep in mind that Christmas is celebrated in this fashion due largely to the fact that like Peru, most countries in Latin America are Catholic, which has a large influence over the population.





Update:  I just got done eating dinner and it was wonderful, the turkey was amazing and very flavorful.  It was like having Thanksgiving dinner in December.  Now I am off to go and pack because tomorrow is going to be a long day!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

2 comments

  1. moniqueraab Says:
  2. what is that bread thing in the picture

     
  3. I think it's fruit cake or something? It was pretty good actually! Thanks FYI for the giant gummy bears they were awesome!

     

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