Bringing in the New Year

I celebrated New Year's Eve was celebrated this year differently than I've ever done before. I guess that makes sense seeing as how I'm currently living in Peru. So what does New Year's in Peru look like?
Well last night we had church. It was supposed to last from 7-midnight, but the missionaries left early to fellowship together. We played some games and 15 min before midnight we shared things we were grateful for from this past year. We then "prayed in" the new year together. A great bonding time for our "family". Afterwards we hugged all around and went outside to set off fireworks. I learned about 2 traditions on this day in Peru.
1. Families take old clothes and make a lifesized "doll" out of the clothes. It's stuffed with sawdust or hay. Then at midnight everyone takes their dolls out into the streets and burns them. Something to do with burning away the past year and starting fresh. The streets were FILLED with TONS of smoke. And today there were black piles everywhere from the dolls. Our group made a doll to burn as well.
2. After this people take off running in traveling clothes with backpacks or suitcases. I hadn't heard about this until I actually saw it happening. It was hilarious! My Peruvian friends told me that the people believe if they do this that the whole next year will be spent traveling and exploring new places. Oh and most of these people are dressed up and are wearing masks or have painted faces for the new year.
Today our church went out to an area that had a pool and lagoon and some courts to play sports. I had an awesome time fellowshipping, playing volleyball, swimming, and getting some sun!
This year was definitely something completely different for me, but it was awesome to get to be a part of this New Year's celebration in Peru!


nfling said...

one word AWESOME....That sounded so much fun. =)