For those of you who have had the opportunity to travel to Peru before, it should come as no surprise that New Year’s Eve in Peru is a big party. Think fireworks at midnight, salsa and cumbia until sunrise, and plenty of champagne and pisco flowing all night long. Up and down the Peruvian coast and from border to border, a perfectly Peruvian New Year’s celebration will not be hard to find. This article is the perfect window in to the world of Peruvian New Year’s traditions – a how-to guide, if you will, to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Peru as the locals do.
Where to Celebrate New Year’s in Peru
The best New Year’s celebrations in Peru can be found along the coast and in the plazas of some of Peru’s larger cities like Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco. Unlike those north of the equator, Peru is blessed with warm temperatures this time of the year, sometimes stifling along the coast and refreshingly spring-like in the mountainous regions. This often means the New Year’s parties are outdoors and, when possible, near water.
Head to Mancora or the beaches south of Lima, like Punta Hermosa, Asia, and San Bartolo, to toast the New Year with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. For some of the best fireworks displays, plan to spend New Year’s Eve in the populous cities like Cusco, Lima, or Arequipa, where fireworks explode from every direction at midnight. When the fireworks fade out, the clubs and bars fill up and stay full long past sunrise.
Partake in Peruvian New Year’s Traditions
Peru has its fair share of New Year’s superstitions, so many that we couldn’t possibly share all of them here. However, we have curated a list of the traditions you can easily partake in during your New Year’s holiday in Peru.
- Eat 12 grapes at midnight under a table, saying aloud the twelve months as you eat each grape. If you fumble over a month or drop a grape, it is believed that you will experience bad luck for that particular month. Eat a 13th grape for some extra good luck.
- Write down five wishes for the New Year and then dip them in a glass of champagne to ensure they come true.
- Wear new clothes, especially underwear, to signify your desires for the New Year. Wear yellow for luck and happiness, green for money, red for love, and white for health and fertility.
- Keep your pockets empty so that your fellow partygoers can fill them with lentils, wheat, and cinnamon throughout New Year’s Eve. The lentils symbolize money, the wheat symbolizes prosperity, and the cinnamon symbolizes love. On New Year’s Day, be sure to empty your pockets and keep their contents safe throughout the next year to lock in the good fortune.
- Place coins in the shoes you’re wearing and wear them throughout the New Year’s Eve celebrations. This tradition is supposed to attract good fortune for the New Year.
- Run around the block with your empty suitcase or backpack to bring good luck to your travels throughout the year to come.
Plan Your Custom Peru Vacation with Kuoda
There’s so much to see and explore on a trip to Peru, whether you’re visiting Peru on New Year’s or any time of year. Our tip: empty that suitcase of yours and take a spin around the block because we foresee a tailor-made tour of Peru in your new year. Get in touch with one of our Kuoda Travel Designers when you’re ready to begin planning your adventure in Peru.