Photo: Mariano Mantel
If you’re in Peru for the holidays, while the lack of snow may not have it feeling like a magical winter wonderland (technically it’s summer there), Santuranticuy is one surefire way to get in the spirit. A Christmas market held in Cusco on December 24, the fair is the perfect hybrid of Andean culture and local traditions. Translating to “Saints for Sale,” artisans from all over the region gather to sell art, musical instruments, and food to eager customers looking to add some flair to their holiday celebrations. Come with me as we explore Santuranticuy and the Peruvian version of Christmas.
Photo: Christopher Kirk
As a traveler or expat, experiencing the holidays outside the U.S. can be an eye opening and life changing experience. As we usher in a new holiday season and begin to reflect upon the past year, on the surface, traditions around the globe may appear very different, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re all just searching for a cause to celebration. With each country having their own interpretation of food, family and fun, you may be surprised to learn at the core just how similar we actually are, despite personal beliefs and rituals.
Photo: Kevin Dooley
Every country in South America has its own holiday traditions, but some aspects of seasonal celebrations are universal: being surrounded by family and friends, plenty of food and drink and Santa Claus…or at least a variation on the Santa Claus theme.
In Chile, for example, children write their letters to the Viejito Pascuero, who comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve. As in many countries, Chileans take the tree down after January 6th, the popular Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day), which in Chile is known as, Pascua de los Negros.
Photo: Marisol Ferreira
While the rest of the world is nursing hangovers and food babies from Christmas dinner the night before, the Colombians in Cali are taking to the streets to burn off those calories in a way only they know how. A lesser-known festival in Colombia, Feria De Cali has largely been eclipsed by Carnival in Brazil in the media, but let me assure you, it’s well worth checking out. Salsa parties, food exhibitions, beauty pageants, and parades are just a few of the events you can expect during the six days of festivities. Come explore this year-end cultural celebration with us.
Photo: Alihf Esparza
It’s that time of year again. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (Nov. 27), Hanukkah (Dec. 16-24), Yule (Dec. 21), Nochebuena (Dec. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25), Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1) or something else entirely, chances are sometime within the next month, you, your family and your friends will gather ’round the dinner table to express your blessings and share a meal together. And while tradition – I’m talking foods like turkey to latkes and everything in between – is nice, sometimes it’s worth spicing up the holiday spread.