The peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnival


(Approximate reading time: 4 minutes)

What do you think, when you hear the word ‘carnival’? As a fully functional man with a clear mind I think about attractive and scantily dressed young black Brazilian women who dance Samba on a carnival float. Reality for myself looked sadly always quite different than my own imagination. I encountered as a citizen of the traditional German carnival areas several festivities. But mostly it was freaking cold, snowy or rainy and the women wore more clothes and didn’t dance Samba. But also apart from all we imagine, there are several other places in the world where people celebrate carnival.

But other than that, I was very curious how people in Lima celebrate their version of Carnaval. The first research in the internet about events of this year was a flop: Almost no entries in Google about possible happenings in 2018. Hmmm, do they try to celebrate it secretly and silent so that others can’t track them? I had to research a little deeper, tried different informational sources and of course direct interaction with the civilians of the city. Maybe they knew top secret information I don’t have access to.

First thing that annoyed me about the South American edition is the way they write it. In Spanish you write the term with an ‘a’ instead of an ‘i’. On that note, the people in South America celebrate ‘Carnaval’ and not ‘Carnival’. Not only my eyes hurt, when I read the Spanish version of it, also my tongue splits when I try to pronounce it.

Read this blog article to find out more about the peculiar Peruvian way to celebrate Carnaval.

Thursday, February 8 of 2018

Meanwhile other parts of the world already started with their annual celebration on ‘Fat Thursday’, the city of Lima was a little bit sluggish in their festivities. I found out, that ‘Help! Music Bar’ in Barranco promoted a Carnaval party:

Hmmm, a minimalistic advertisement that is triggering curiosity. Why are their colors and not costumes? There is only one way to find it out – To go myself! Fiestas in South America start late and end late, I arrived this Thursday at 11:30pm at this place and saw only two or three people with painted faces who didn’t even wear costumes. Booooooring!

Maybe one or one and a half hours of dancing later, a wild show started with Samba music and dancers. After a couple of songs, the Brazilian band left the stage and a few other people appeared who carried boxes. And suddenly hell and mayhem broke out at this place:

​So at the end it was a very colorful experience! People let loose and tried to paint each other, so the real war broke out in the club. As an old and wise man I let others do the chaotic work and hid in the background. That worked pretty well, my clothes didn’t suffer from a lot of paint.

There are several other traditional and cultural festivities around carnival during these days, but all outside of Lima in other cities of the country. All in all, Lima is not the right place to encounter carnival. Other than that, there aren’t any carnival parties going on. I’m fine with that, because I didn’t want to sacrifice more clothes.



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