There are very few holidays that are as widely celebrated around the world as Halloween. It is one of the world’s oldest holidays and definitely the most fun. But Halloween in Cusco is just the beginning of a three day celebration.
All Saints Day, which begins on November 1st, is spent celebrating the Living. Relatives and friends come together to feast and rejoice. Saints are remembered and thanked for the contributions they have made. November 2nd begins All Souls Day focusing on the faithful departed where people spend time praying for their loved ones they lost.
These are celebratory days with lots of parades full of color. Since the focus is on remembering the dead as they were when living, Peruvian graves are a live “scrapbook” of the deceased. Often, the grave will be gifted with the favorite food or drink of the deceased–it’s not uncommon to spot a beer, a soda or even a bottle of pisco inside the framed glass enclosures that mark an individual’s grave in Peru. These glass enclosures are a window into the life of the deceased. Even as a stranger from another country, you can get the sense of how someone lived, what they liked and who they were from the meaningful display in front of their grave.
You may seem some interesting looking bread for sale during these days called Tanta Wawas. They are often shaped like a baby including a small plastic face and they are also commonly left at gravesites and also enjoyed during our feasts.
You can pick some Tanta Wawas up yourself at San Pedro market. They are a great snack and really special during these days.
Enjoy these days if you happen to be visiting us. Its really special to participate in another culture when days like these, celebrations, are occurring.
And Happy Halloween everyone.