In Latin America, including in Peru, Halloween is not celebrated as in North America. Day of the Dead (dia de los muertos) is, however much more celebrated. The day before, October 31, there is as well celebrated in Peru the Creole Music Day. It is interesting to note that death is by far less taboo in latin america than in North America. Here is how both fiestas are celebrated in the peruvian society.
You may already know that the Ireland immigrant brought with them the Halloween celebration in USa and Canada. Since South America didn’t receive that much immigrants from this country, the Halloween is not really celebrated. Of course, peruvian knows now what is Halloween thanks to Internet and social media. Some are celebrating Halloween, but still, Dia de los muertos is by far the most popular event.
The Creole Music Day on October 31
This festival has exist since 1944, decreed by former President Manuel Prado “Día de la Canción Criolla” to pay tribute to the performers of this very popular music in Peru, especially in Lima and Trujillo (the Peruvian Pacific coast). Among the most recognized singers are the legend Lucha Reyes, Chabuca Granda, and Arturo “Zambo” Cavero.
Want to listen what Criolla music is? Here are some great track to listen:
So, this is the day dedicated to the “Cajon” (drum on which we sit) and the guitars in the famous peñas (typical places where we listen (or play) Creole music). I am a big fan of this music, sometimes melancholic, sometimes happy, but gives a romantic atmosphere to the best restaurants in Lima.
You are in Peru on October 31st and you are looking for a place to listen some great music? I recommend the “ Caleta de Barranco “. It is a place to eat typical Peruvian meals and also to see and listen to musicians of Creole music.
What is the “dia de los muertos” and how and how is it celebrated
First, be aware that the Latin American peoples’ relationship to death is far less taboo than for Canadians and Americans. It is a day to pay tribute to the dead.
Many peruvian goes to the cemeteries to visit one or more deceased persons. Usually as a family, we go to the cemetery and bring music, beer and something to eat with the deceased (Yeah, we bring a meal and a beer to leave on the tomb stone). In a festive spirit, we tell stories about the person while tasting in family this good meal. Families usually bring the deceased’s favorite meal and his favorite alcohol, his Pisco, his rum or other typical drinks such as “chicha de jora”.
We visited the second most talles cemetery in the world called Villa Maria del Triumfo. So huge that it stretches over an entire valley and is impossible to visit in a single day. On this day, it is particularly profitable for traders, musicians, etc. People also take the opportunity to renovate funeral niches.
Are people sad? Yes, of course, like everyone else; We regret not having this person with us!
Want to get a taste of the atmosphere in this cemetery? Here are some videos that bring us to the heart of the dia de los muertos.