Christmas in Peru is a time of joyous celebration. Religious families tend to kick off the holiday by attending the “Mass of the Rooster,” traditionally held on Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. The fun really begins once everyone returns home. Families tend to head outside to watch the midnight fireworks, greeting all of their neighbors and friends and toasting to the birth of Christ. Most Peruvians then head inside to exchange gifts.
Peruvian food first makes its appearance after midnight. Most Christmas meals tend to feature traditional dishes, including regional specialties in the mountains, jungles, and on the coast. Meats like turkey, suckling pig or chicken are often featured as main holiday dishes. Other staples of Peruvian cuisine, such as potatoes, rice, salad, and tamales with applesauce tend to accompany the meal.
Perhaps the best Peruvian flavors are highlighted by the season’s drinks and desserts. Panetón, a deliciously bread filled with candied fruit and raisins, is served alongside creamy hot chocolate flavored with winter spices like cinnamon and cloves. Beer, pisco sours, and sparkling wine are also imbibed on Christmas Eve, leading to hours of dancing and merriment.
After partying well into the night, Christmas Day tends to be a rather quiet affair. Families may be found relaxing, admiring their nativity scenes and spending time with one another.
If you’re looking to enjoy the holiday season the Peruvian way, look no further than La Costanera Restaurant. Located in stunning Half Moon Bay, California, this award-winning Peruvian restaurant offers diners the chance to sample Peruvian food ranging from traditional staples to cutting-edge fusion cuisine. Make a reservation today to celebrate the holidays with Peruvian flair!