Customs, Food Culture

Birthdays Are a Fun Time for All in Cuzco

Celebrating a happy Birthday in Cuzco (Arnold Fernandez Coraza)

There is a saying in Cusco that goes, “cada quien con su santo”, “to each their saint.” Every person has their own faith in different saints and crosses within the city. That is why each year all the saints, crosses, and virgins are well feted by those who are devoted to them and have a solid economy.

People also celebrate their own santos as we call them, their birthdays. We call this day their santo because people used to draw names from the saints calendar and so the saint’s day was the same as your birthday.

When a baby reaches its first birthday people are anxious to give them a good celebration with lots of joy and happiness among the parents and family of the child. They pull together a fiesta, a party, in their home. First, they decorate the room with balloons, serpentine, the images of animes and multicolored papers.

Once finished with the decoration, they pull together the main table. That is where there will be a cake, snacks, and sweets. Then they order a cake to be made for the guests. Now everything is ready for the party which usually begins around 5 pm. That is when all the guests arrive to begin the feast.

Clowns are those who are in charge on enlivening the party. The come and play to keep the kids excited and having fun. This person wearing all kinds of bright colors also teases the parents and adults and makes them have fun too. He makes them dance fun music. Everyone is delighted.

After a lot of games and fun, they break the piñata. All the small children stand in lin, one after the other, and they begin to hit it, each in turn, with a plastic bat or pole. All of them strike at it with the same intensity and ambition. They want to break the piñata so that they can get the surprises that it contains inside. When the piñata breaks, all the toys and candy begin to fall. All the children and even some of the adults throw themselves on the ground to try to grab what they can.

After this they turn off the lights and begin to sing Happy Birthday for the child whose day it is. The applaud the child and sing. Finally the child blows out the candles. The lights are turned on and the family serves what it has prepared for all the guests. They also share pieces of the cake and some bags with surprises for the children, In this way the feast finishes and all the guests, adults and children, go home after enjoying moments of much happiness.

 

 

 

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