Halloween and Cancion Criolla: celebrating October 31 in Peru!
So, do you celebrate Halloween in Peru? Yes and No! On the 31st of October, our students learning Spanish in Peru, can take part in two different kinds of celebrations in Peru: the typical Halloween celebration, as we know it from North America, and the ¨Día de la Canción Criolla¨.
Halloween, as it is celebrated in the US, is becoming more and more popular in Peru. We call it “Noche de Brujas”. It has not yet risen to this special kind of enthusiasm, where people plan out their night and even more importantly their costumes for weeks and decorate their houses with all kinds of creepy creatures – but we celebrate two crucial elements of US Halloween in Peru: Trick or Treating and of course: parties!
Halloween in Cusco
In Cusco, with a high percentage of expats, tourists and foreigners living in Cusco because they are learning Spanish and/or doing volunteer work in Peru – large parties in the local bars and discos are common and super fun! Locals and tourists celebrate together at a large range of parties with live music or DJs. At some parties, there might be a costume contest, so you better choose and prepare an outrageous outfit to win!
On the streets of Cusco you will see Peruvian kids dress up and head out into the city with their parents. Peruvian kids don’t really go “trick-or-treating” like in the US, they just sort of walk up to you with a little plastic pumpkin and say “Halloween”. Dressed up kids and groups of locals gather at Plaza de Armas of Cusco, to show off their costumes and collect candy all day on the 31st of October.
El Día de la Cancion Criolla
Apart from Halloween, people in Peru also celebrate “El Día de la Canción Criolla” on October. 31: the Peruvian “Day of Criolla Music”.
Criollan music is a genre, that combines African, Spanish and other influences. The most popular style of musica criolla in Peru is the Marinera Dance, which is said to be the national dance of Peru. All throughout Latin America, the term “criolla” originally referred to the descendants of first settlers from Spain. In the Peru of today, however, it hints to the people and culture of the coastal region (as opposed to the Andean highlands) and of Lima in particular.
On the Día de la Canción Criolla, especially Lima is the perfect spot to witness some traditional criollan music and dance. Many bars present criolla bands on the 31st of October – a great chance for travellers in Peru to experience an interesting part of traditional Peruvian culture. But also in the highlands and especially in Cusco, you will experience this interesting mixture of the typical northamerican event such as Halloween, and a traditional Peruvian celebration!
For our students in Cusco: check out the notice boards this week!
It’s party time at AMAUTA Cusco!