Customs

Fireworks Fill the Sky at Midnight Despite Bans

Christmas Firework in the Plaza de Armas, Cusco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Christmas Fireworks in the Plaza de Armas, Cusco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Christmas is here. It is time to celebrate. This beautiful feast, celebrated only once a year, has the purpose of bringing families together so that they pass a harmonious and loving Christmas together. The children of the home are the happiest and most excited of all, since they will receive the gifts they have most wanted. They also love the fireworks that right at midnight, illuminate the sky over Cusco with beautiful and distinctive colors. They announce it is Christmas.

Fireworks have become part of the traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Years. They are also used in other celebrations during the year. They are noisy, colorful, and attractive. Many of them go into the heavens and when they explode in a strong sound, bright lights appear in distinctive and varied colors in a whole range of shapes. Every time someone uses one of them it transmits a great joy. It steals your smile and gets from you an expression of pure admiration.

They come in various sizes and colors. The people who sell them bring them to the city in great quantity. They display them, one by one, well situated so that clients can easily choose those most appropriate for their desires, needs, and pocketbook. They have exotic names such as cohetecillos (little rockets), cohetones (big rockets), bara de luz (bar of light), luz de Bengal (light of Bengal), mata suegra (kill the mother-in-law), and many others that draw lots of attention.

The fireworks provide entertainment for the whole family, especially when midnight comes on the 24th. Ten seconds before hand, in every house, people began a count down of the seconds. When the clock strikes twelve, indicating it is midnight, everyone goes out to either use or watch the fireworks, while many dogs—and other animals hide and even moan in fear. It is now Christmas. The sky illuminates with fireworks and strong sounds. Impressive spectacles of light fill the sky all over the city.

It is very important to state that the use of the fireworks is very dangerous. They must be managed only by adults in order to avoid children getting ahold of them. For several years now they have been banned by the government, but they still appear for sale. People insist that without fireworks Christmas would not be so much fun, nor would New Years.

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