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National Holiday: Dia Nacional del Pisco

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, July 29, 2010


Last Sunday the country celebrated what they have called their national patrimony, the very popular and famous liquor Pisco.  The very importance and strong significance of Pisco to the Peruvian people was more than enough to have culminated the creation of the national holiday which now honors the drink.  For those who may not have known the word Pisco is taken from the Quechuan word Pisqu, which means little bird.  Some say that Pisco gets its name from the the clay pottery that was used to be aged in however, most will recognize that the name for the popular liquor comes from the old coastal city of Pisco where it was first distilled by the Spanish.  


Pisco was first prepared with the use of the Quebranta grape, a dark black colored grape which the Spanish brought with them to be used in their wine distilleries.  Since then many other types of grapes have been used in the production of Pisco.  Interestingly enough this symbolic liquor soon became the target of controversy between Peru and Chile, as both countries have fought over the intellectual rights of Pisco for many years now.  Both countries believe that Pisco holds origins within their own country which their for affords them the rights to the liquor, topics which will have to be discussed in another occasion.  

The national day of Pisco was celebrated in full force this year with over two thousand liters of delicious Pisco being pumped through the Plaza de Armas main fountain.  The city saw quite a large turnout this year as thousands of Limeñans congregated upon the plaza in hopes of drinking Pisco in it's celebration.  My first thought was that people would be seen with their heads submerged in the fountain, like someone bobbing for apples, however the situation was a more tamed and controlled one as the provider Tabernero and the city of Lima had everything blocked off and organized.  Instead of a large mob of unruly and drunk Peruvians I encountered an orgnaized and orderly queue of Peruvians patiently waiting their turn for a small plastic cup of heaven.  Conforming to the order within the Plaza I waited my turn in a line which unlike other lines in Peru was moving quite fast.  One thing I noticed when I first arrived to the Plaza was the sweet smell of grapes in the air as I moved towards the fountain.  The event also offered music and a few performances from a pair of Peruvian pace horses which danced for the public to a popular northern marinera.  Perhaps the only drunks in the celebration were the pigeons who in my opinion had the best seats at the event with all the alcohol they could drink.  The event was somewhat entertaining but it felt to much like a promotional party then an actual national holiday. 

1 Responses to National Holiday: Dia Nacional del Pisco

  1. Stef Says:
  2. I missed free alcohol?!?!!? How come no one told me about it!!! Darn it! Guess I'll wait till next year and I still have "Pisco Sour Day" in February to look forward to =]

     

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