Cities En español Heritage Peru Photography

Cohetes for Christmas: fireworks and La Navidad in Peru

Cohetes (fireworks) in the streets of Lima © J. Ashley Nixon
Cohetes (fireworks) in the streets of Lima
© J. Ashley Nixon

Christmas (La Navidad) traditions in Peru begin around midnight when families get together for a meal of turkey and rice with mixed, diced vegetables and potatoes. Then comes the Panetón, a soft, bread-like cake filled with mixed dried fruit. It’s much lighter than the Christmas cakes and puddings from the northern hemisphere. And it’s eaten with a home-made hot chocolate made from a bar of chocolate melted into water, then milk, cinnamon and cloves are added.

Just before midnight, the fireworks begin. These cohetes or fuegos artificiales are bought in their thousands and let off individually in the streets. Rockets rise into the sky and blast 10-20 metres up. The cacophony echoes around the buildings, leaving your ears ringing and the streets filled with smoke.

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Cohetes (fireworks) set off in the streets of Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru © J. Ashley Nixon
Left overs from exploded coheres (fireworks) © J. Ashley Nixon
Left overs from exploded cohetes (fireworks)
© J. Ashley Nixon
The lights of a mototaxi (three wheeler bike with driver and 2/3 passengers) cuts through the smoke-filled streets of Villa El Salvador, Lima
A moto-taxi’s lights cut through the smoke-filled streets of Villa El Salvador, Lima © J. Ashley Nixon

These images were taken in Villa El Salvador in the south of Lima in the early hours of Christmas morning, 2015.

 

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