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: Ivan David Gomez Arce
December is a big deal in Colombia, and not only because of the Christmas season or because everyone is on vacation. The end of the year also brings the Feria de Cali, a multi-day salsa extravaganza (salsastravaganza?) that packs the streets of this southwestern city with parades and dancers of all levels. People practice for months to show off their best moves, so prepare to be blown away by some of the country’s most talented dancers and a city that really knows how to party.
Photo: Enrique Castro-Mendívil
Even though the majority of Peruvians are Catholic, the Andean culture is still very present in people’s beliefs. This results in a blending of cultural and religious mythology that makes the culture very rich in traditions and holidays.
Cuzco celebrates Christmas with Santuranticuy – one of the biggest arts and crafts fairs in Peru. Preparations for this fair start six months before Chirstmas. Hundreds of artisans gather in and around the main square with traditional crafts creating a very picturesque atmosphere. Some camp out the night before to guarantee a good spot to sell their wares.