Festival – Peru

“La gente para divertirse jugaba con agua con los vecinos en la calle y se mojaban completamente. Primero comenzaban a tirar globos con agua y terminaban con valdes de agua. Algunas veces la gente que caminaba tambien recibia agua. Todo quedaba muy mojado como si hubiera llovido mucho.”

“People, to amuse themselves, played with water with the neighbors in the street. They got completely wet. First they began to throw water balloons, but when they ran out they would go finished with buckets of water, maybe even the hose. Some times the people who were just walked received water balloons. There was no consideration for anyone if they’re around. Everything and everyone was drenched as if it had rained heavily.”


Norma was born in Huaraz, Peru, a small town located on the foothills of the Andy Mountain Range. She attended Santa Rosa de Viterbo Catholic school through high school, and graduated from the University of Lima, Peru with a Bachelor of Science in medical lab technology. Later, she immigrated to the United States, and worked in an Allergy Medical Clinic. This is what she recalls of the Celebracion de Festival.

Norma has been partaking in this festival for as long as she can remember. The festival always takes place in the month of February. This period of festival occurs immediately preceding Lent (between Ash Wednesday and Easter) and is observed by mostly Roman Catholic Countries, particularly by people of Latin origins. Carnival is especially dominant in Brazil, but as the residence of Huaraz took their religion seriously, they joined in on the festivities. Norma always looked forward to it because it was hot and was a good time to play with water. She said it was a fun way to get involved. Yet, the connection between water and Carnival was never known to her.

Festival is part of Norma’s heritage. It part of her tradition and part of who she is. Living in America now, she can no longer throw water at stranger that pass in the street for it is not the customary here. In America, “people might sue”. It didn’t matter your age. She said that some older men sit down with the hose ready. People would walk around with their water guns in hand. There was no consideration for anyone if they’re around.

From an outsider perspective, I think this could possible be one of the greatest festival ever: a legalized national water fight. Comparing our society to those of Latin America, there is a difference in the seriousness of things. Americans have a set perception that it is better to labor and be more efficient, working toward the future, then enjoying the present day. In Peru, they enjoy the festivities and reflecting on the past and the traditional values they holds. It a day of living in the present, where the economic driven mindset of American and their forward thinking is absent from their minds.

It’s strange to think that an entire nation would legalize a national water fight day. However, as mentioned earlier, Peru is a very religious and Catholic country. Lent is a quiet, somber time of appreciation. This period preceding it is therefore filled with joy and life as the community prepares for the special occasion.

A thing to note is that Peru is very close to the equator and located in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it is summer during February. The idea of throwing water at each other is an ideal way to cool off from the heat.