Customs, Food Culture

How to Get and Keep Good Things Cuzco Style

Carry Rue Flower and Its Seed on Your Wallet to Get Money (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)

Among our people various beliefs have become converted into traditions. People worry about the many auguries, as we call them, which can help them feel better and more secure. They look for a means to influence in their favor the day-to-day rush of fortune

On of these is the common custom of enjoying a delicious dish of lentils on Mondays. People expect that by scooping up the abundant, small, coin-like legumes they are helping make their week good. They expect bad energies and forces to stay away from them and for good things to come their way.

People will also carry a lentil or two in their wallets with their money. They put them right next to their bills and, sometimes, their coins. People expect that “the person who has a wallet with the lentils inside will always have money when they need it.”

Eat Lentils at Lunch When the Week Starts to Be Lucky (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)
Eat Lentils at Lunch When the Week Starts to Be Lucky (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)

It seems that with every passing day the people of the city rely more and more on this kind of beliefs converted into customs. They are not just useful for obtaining and maintaining money. They also help make sure your week is good. Cuzco holds numerous beliefs and customs of this nature and people rely on them constantly, because they are the common sense ideas we live with and the customs with which we are raised.

These ideas are not just for personal life. They also inform the way we do Business and build enterprises.

The city’s merchants place pots of rue behind their doors or where other people cannot see them. This plant, with its delicious aroma is said to cure bad airs. At the same time people use it as an augury, which is as something that does not only announce a good future; it helps bring it about. The rue is said to help the stand or store have more income.

Another augury that our people commonly rely on and that is always present in our homes is a piece of cactus with lots of thorns. We call them spines. We generally look for ones that take the shape of a cross to place them over the door that communicates between the house and the outside. We believe that with the spines on the doorway people are protected from bad things. They keep the bad outside.

Cross Cactus over the Door for Good Luck (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)
Cross Cactus over the Door for Good Luck (Photo: Walter Coraza M.)

One more augury that is a tradition of ours is that you cannot collect on people’s debts on the first of the month. Although only those who know about this may respect it, out custom holds that if you charge those who owe you on the first, you will have a whole month filled with your own debts gnawing at you and pressuring you.

You need to be careful what you do on the first since it is the beginning of a period of time, whether that is a workweek, a month, or a year.

Cuzco has many customs like these that are connected with ideas. Our people rely on them. They are supposed to do things like help us have the Money we need and to have a good week. At the same time, though, they are a part o f our culture and they make us who we are.

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