Children’s Games at Night

Hide and Seek Cuzco Game

Young people in Cuzco have enjoyed various diversions at night for some time now, such as the famous pijamadas, or pajama parties. These are a time when children’s younger people enjoy time together.

Pajama parties take place in people’s homes. Among other things the youths play charades, fight pillow wars, or watch movies in order for the night to pass. Then they all gather together and make up a common bed to sleep.

Traditional games, in contrast, require large spaces in which to run and do other physical activities, such as are found outside. Friends come together for these, as well as family—such as siblings or cousins, in order to begin the games.

One of the most well known games is hide and seek, called escondidas in Spanish. Its rules are very simple, while one person makes a backwards count, people run and hide. There is usually a bell or some sort of object to let people know who has won the game.

The person doing the counting starts to look for the other participants, when they finish their count. When he or she finds someone they run to the bell to announce that they have found someone. But if the person found makes it to the bell first then she or he says “Salvo a mis compañeros” (I save my companions) and the game begins again.

There are other games like the 12 pecados (twelve sins), congelado (frozen), matagente (kill-people), etc. All of these games tend to end with ghost stories and others to frighten people. By around 11 or 12 midnight people have entered an adequate time for feeling afraid and not wanting to go home.

In this way the nocturnal games conclude and, whether they want to or not, people go home tired from the vigorous games and frightened from the stories told.

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