Customs, Food Culture

Gifts to Ring out the Old and Ring in the New

Wines for Sale on the Street

Wines for Sale on the Street

In Cusco, New Year’s Eve is commonly lived in the streets. People buy gifts and food in order to make a special New Year’s meal. The galleries, traditional markets, and commercial centers of the city are overwhelmed with people who enter and leave without end.

Many people are looking for gifts for children, friends, family, and loved ones for tonight. Some of Cusco’s streets are filled with ambulatory merchants and by pedestrians who seek that perfect gift to surprise those they love.

Traffic is thick. It is like being in a forest where only the paths take you to light. People move in long, slow lines, especially since many streets have been taken over by merchants who put up their provisional stands in order to sell their merchandise: toys, clothing, household goods, and food.

Yellow stands out in our fairs and galleries. When you go out looking to buy a gift this day you must take into account the heavy traffic, both of autos and pedestrians. It is very difficult to get through the streets of the city’s center today.

Many workers from public and private institutions exchange gifts among work mates. The same thing takes place in schools, universities, academies, and other places of education.

There are many things that people buy for this celebration, but one of the most important details are the gifts, whether of clothes, toys, or something for the home. All of these objects are, in their majority, colored yellow. That color is synonymous with good luck, health, money, and love.

Throughout the day people will buy and give their gifts. But the special hour to give a gift is a midnight. That is the time when the great majority of families will get together, share their year’s end dinner and the 12 grapes of New Years. They will also toast with a glass of champagne. At the same time they will surprise each other with gifts.

Merchants come to Cusco from Peru’s three geographical regions, coast, highlands, and jungle. They bring to sell everything necessary to welcome in the New Year and say goodbye to the old one.

Some people take very seriously the beliefs and customs of giving gifts of yellow objects. Even the wrapping of many gifts is yellow tonight. It symbolizes prosperity as people say goodbye to the old year in the best way.

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