Every year, Carnaval is celebrated throughout Peru during the month of February. This means that people run around spraying each other with shaving cream and dousing each other with buckets of water. Just this past weekend, some of our students learning Spanish in Peru got the full experience of Carnaval in Cusco:
Angela says”: ´´When I got here last week, my luggage didn´t come, so I had to go out and buy stuff this weekend. All of a sudden 5 Peruvian guys ambushed me with shaving cream and water. One of them put a water balloon on my neck so then it broke and I was soaked. It was fun!´
Laurianne : ´´It was crazy! I got hit in the face with a water balloon! So then I laughed and ran away.´´
Charlotte: ´´It was funny. It was 4 pm and we thought that things had calmed down. Suddenly there was a group of 10 young boys. We were walking in a group and saw that they were heading towards us. We couldn´t do anything…they attacked us with so much shaving cream and water!´´
Carnaval originated with the Spaniards and their Catholic religion. Beginning in the 1500s, Peru was filled with parties, dancing, and other events throughout the weeks leading up to Lent. In the 1700s, water games were deemed illegal, yet Carnaval participants disregarded this rule and continued on with their normal festivities. It wasn´t until the 1800s that Carnaval was given the specific start date of the first Sunday in February and indicated to last for 3 days.
In the present day, Carnaval is still raging strong, though not just for 3 measly days. The festivities commence the first Sunday in February and last for the entire month. Therefore, it is essential that Peruvians and tourists alike keep a keen eye for anything resembling white foam or round globes of water that might come plunging their way!