4 January 2017
Hard to remember to type 2017 - and wow, we're well into the 21st century! Amazing! Plus that means we've been on the road for 4.33 years already!
Last year we were in Valparaiso, Chile, for New Year's Eve. This year's celebration in Lima wasn't as spectacular, but it was definitely more homey.
Just as in Chile, yellow is a major color for celebrating the New Year. In Chile, we saw stands of yellow underwear for sale. Didn't see the stands here in Peru, but one of the people working at our hostale said that his wife bought the entire family yellow undies, and everyone would wear them that evening. The yellow is for good luck. If a person wants to get more money in the coming year, then they wear green.
I have to add that I don't own any clothes in either color! Both are just bad with my coloring, LOL!
So, our hostale staff prepared another fabulous feast and invited everyone for the celebrations. Richard and I went downstairs about 9 PM to see what was happening, and I happily assisted in decorating the dining room. The daughter of one of the staff and I blew up the bright yellow balloons, decorated with grapes (good luck), wine bottles, cheering people, etc. We added streamers, and taped them across the long wall. Not the classiest of decorations, but cheerful and, most importantly, YELLOW!
We also handed out the yellow plastic leis to people waiting around, and also hung them on the backs of the chairs. The manager also put one on her chihuahua, who happily wore his lei the rest of the night.
The usual firecrackers and small fireworks started going off as soon as it was dark outside, and continued all evening. We were in and out to see some of the bigger blasts.
Food was finally served, about 11:30 PM. I'm guessing that eating certain foods about midnight and into the New Year is considered lucky - we encountered this in Spain, so that might be part of why dinner was served at what we think of as a really late hour. (We had a lovely roast pork, sort of a Waldorf salad mixed in with lettuce greens, potato salad, and pasta salad.)
At midnight, the night erupted again as everyone started shooting off their fireworks - and then the city-sponsored fireworks started off over the shore! They were huge, mostly white-gold-yellow-red, and went off at intervals along the coast. We could see three separate sets exploding from the corner closest to our hostale, and they continued for maybe ten minutes. They eventually stopped, though the other, smaller fireworks and firecrackers kept going for a few more hours.
There were also a few young people running around the neighborhood, with their rolling luggage. I read that people do this in Chile as well, to ensure that they travel in the coming year. It was quite a sight to see people racing around with their luggage bumping along behind them, based on an old tradition.
We went back inside, just in time for cake. Richard and I bought the cake, because that's just the way we were brought up. We bought the big sacher torte at the local supermarket, we weren't sure how many people would be at this celebration. The cake ended up lasting two days, because Peruvians serve very small slices of cake. (It was really good cake, but a small slice was plenty. They even offered us more cake for breakfast, which we thought was really funny!)
Of course, then there was music, and people dancing, late into the night. Things started quieting down maybe about 3 AM, although people were still partying in the street. Yeah, not the quietest night.
The first was a slow day, with the usual kinds of places closed. Of course, the kitty park was open, and the kitties were their usual adorable selves.
By the second, life was back to normal, and we've been dealing with the usual things - Richard's dental work, plus seeing the new tropical disease specialist who is advising us on the piratical parasites. We're hoping to have everything taken care of by next week, so we can head somewhere else, and head off on new adventures!!!
Here are a few more photos of Peruvian holiday decorations - I think some of the tradition arts and crafts kinds of decorations.