Archive for ◊ diciembre, 2009 ◊

Views 22 Dic Christmas in Cusco
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Christmas in Cusco – this means Christmas lights, hot chocolate and Paneton all around the city.

During this time of year Cusco is bright and busy, full of small Christmas markets and people getting into the Christmas spirit. Every Sunday morning plazas are filled with locals and people shopping for Peruvian gifts, textiles, incense and candles. But still, no comparison to all the stressed out people running and hysterically looking for Christmas gifts. The Peruvians do really enjoy the Christmas time as a period to meet their beloved friends and family and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

Christmas in Cusco is characterized by the birth of Jesus and this is depicted in the numerous Nacimientos found outside all the churches in town – 3D constructed murals of Nativity scenes with Jesus, Mary and other deciphels. Every church and almost every Cusceno household has one of these, and in the weeks leading up to Christmas, plants and pieces for these murals are sold on the streets and in markets. Most Peruvians are Catholics and churches can be found on almost every block in Cusco. Andeans have a strong religious devotion and Christmas is found to take on elements of traditions of each region of Peru. Further in the Andes festivities often continue for two weeks, until the “arrival of the three wise men”.
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Views 07 Dic CHRISTMAS IN BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA
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A winter wonderland without the winter

The weeks leading up to Christmas in Buenos Aires bring a set of cultural traditions which many people from the northern hemisphere will find reassuringly (or depressingly, depending on your view) familiar. On the one hand, similarities with the ways in which the Christmas festival is celebrated elsewhere should not be surprising given the particularly strong European influence in Buenos Aires (the origins of which lie in the unprecedented waves of immigration which occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century), as well as the ever-increasing global comercialisation of La Navidad. However, while the decor in the temporary Christmas shops which pop up across the city speak of colder climes, with snowdrops, Christmas trees, icicles, fairy lights and the like, the weather gives the spectacle a wholly different ambience. The start of December brings much warmer and humid weather to the city, encouraging porteños to spend more time outdoors in the plazas, the gardens and terrazas of its countless bars and restaurants. Whilst in colder parts of the world the people tend to hibernate for the harsher winter months, the arrival of Christmas in Buenos Aires brings a summery spirit and positivity. Moreover, this is when the city really comes alive in a cultural sense, hosting numerous national and international music, food/drink, theatre and film festivals. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in Argentina at this time of year, which can be especially comforting for extranjeros (or foreigners) spending Christmas away from friends and families back home. (www.couchsurfing.org is also a great resource for meeting Argentines and foreigners who are looking to spend Christmas with other people in Buenos Aires; a kind of adopted family Christmas experience!)
Christmas in Buenos Aires Argentina

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