American Holidays in Peru: Halloween

Hello everyone, and sorry for having been away for so long. I shall now make another attempt at filling you in at what has been going on thus far over the past few weeks (well, months), and get you up to date over the next few posts, which I plan. I shall begin roughly where I left off, early November. Due to the riots going on in the city at that time, I completely forgot to mention Halloween in my blog. Though it is not a particularly popular holiday here, they do, to an extent, celebrate it. They view it in much the same manner that we view 5 de Mayo here in the USA, as an exotic, imported festival and, more than anything else, an excuse to throw parties. Still, it was quite interesting to see how the natives interpreted the holiday.Most of them had a vague idea that the holiday's origins lied in All Saints Day in the distant past and therefore was religious in origins, but knew that since it had been transformed into a mainly commercial holiday (also see Christmas).

While many of the locals did not celebrate the holiday, those who did were mainly small children and their parents, as well as young adults. The children would walk around the city with their parents, some dressed in costumes, some not, and ask various local stores as well as some of the houses in nicer neighborhoods for candy, fairly similar to the general practice in the United States except for the fact that children here almost exclusively ask houses for candy. As for the young adults this holiday was mainly just an excuse to throw parties in the middle of the week. The Halloween party that I attended here, however, was considerably different from any that I had been to in the USA. It totally lacked any form of Halloween theme. No one was in costume, there were no decorations, and the main activity was salsa dance. This, obviously, was totally different from in the USA where the costumes, decorations, and seasonal food which for the American college student make up a large part of the festivities

Therefore, it was pretty much just like a regular Peruvian party, except thrown on Halloween. It was, however, interesting to see how their culture absorbed Halloween. I know now how Mexicans feel when they joke about our own Americanized celebrations of 5 de Mayo. Overall, it was quite an enjoyable holiday and a great way to get out and spend the night with friends instead of in my room studying. Lamentably, my favorite part of Halloween, the incredibly cheap prices of all sorts of candy the next day was lacking.

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