No worries, there were no gun shots fired late Chirstmas Eve, just a bunch of firecrackers, noise makers (mainly set off by 4-5 year olds) and some fire works, all celebrating at midnight the birth of Jesus. Unless I am mistaken, I feel safe to say that this was a new tradition for me, and a bit different then how things are done in the US, although most Christmas traditions do vary. There are of course a few things that still seem to make the list that remind you of home, here are a few things that surprised me about my Camaná Christmas this year:
Here, the coniferous trees are not exactly seen…ever, so although fake trees have there place, the main attraction here revolves around the Nativity. Only this is not just a scene, this is a noah’s arc spectacular. Mine sported spotted ducks, various llamas, lions, ducks, horses, unidentifiable creatures, and I am convinced I saw a dinosaur in one of the nativities I’ve seen around town. It’s a big deal, ALL the animals were there to see it.
Panetón or Fruit Cake
I have researched and discovered that “Panetón” is not Fruit Cake, but it is almost as equally gross. Fake fruit and weird tasting bread is a big hit here, and served for months after Christmas. This festive irridescent green and red fruit-filled treat is not a big favorite among Americans, but a must have for the average Peruvian family. I do have to say it is enjoyable seeing the shock and gasps from my family and friends when you tell them you don’t like Panetón.
Hot Chocolate.. in 84 degree weather
Milk, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, butter, sugar, and I’m pretty sure the pure soul of a sleeping child. This stuff is amazing, but for some reason, not served during the chilly winter months, instead you find it being served in the middle of hot 100% sunny beach weather. I will think twice next year before volunteering to serve up tubs of this cholestral builder to a stadium of people.
Daily Dinámica: Share a tradition. This year I made deviled eggs and green bean casserole (two holiday favorites in my home). The only strange part of making deviled eggs here is tha no one faught over them and they made it to the dinner table…NOT a family tradition in the Cochran household. The most enjoyable ones are those stolen from the fridge while no one is looking.