During this festivity, Catholic believers visit the cemeteries and are accompanied by bouquets of flowers, as a token of affection to the memory of their loved ones who passed away.
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What is celebrated on November 1 in Peru?
Every November 1, All Saints’ Day is celebrated to honor our loved ones who have passed away. But, why is this day celebrated in our country? The origin of this tradition was instituted in honor of all the saints of the Church, according to Pope Urban IV, to compensate for any lack of the feasts of these saints consecrated to God by the faithful during the year.
The history of this date dates back to Pope Gregory III (731-741) who consecrated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to all the Saints and arranged the anniversary for November 1st. The measure was repeated during subsequent calendars.
On this date, Catholic believers visit the cemeteries and are accompanied by bouquets of flowers, as a token of affection to the memory of their deceased loved ones. For 2022, this holiday falls on Tuesday, considered a holiday.
In many regions of our country, November 1 is the prelude to the Day of the Faithful Departed, popularly known as Day of the Dead, which is commemorated on November 2.
Celebrations and Traditions in Southern Peru
It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the visits to the cemeteries, many southern regions usually prepare the delicious wawas or tanta wawas, which in Spanish can be translated as ‘baby breads’. These are biscuits that are made in the shape of an infant.
In Cusco and Puno, small ceramics with the faces of dolls are usually added to the dough.
This is how families bake or have baked several of these breads with very traditional recipes to give to their compadres, godchildren and loved ones on these dates.
Likewise, in regions such as Puno, one of its peculiarities is that people clean the tombstones to the sound of the bands hired for this activity. In Ayacucho, these visits to the cemetery are usually accompanied by priests or popular pray-ers who are in charge of saying the prayers mixing words in Quechua, Spanish and Latin.
All Saints’ Day on the coast
In sectors of Bajo Piura, such as Cura Mori, La Arena, Cataos, among others, sweets called angelitos are prepared. This tradition consists of feeding children these sweets in memory of those children who have passed away.
In this way, the children of these cities wait in the Plaza de Armas for their relatives to give them several bags of these sweet donuts in memory of their deceased loved ones.
In Lima and Callao, thousands of Peruvians bring music, flowers, beer and food to the cemeteries. The most visited cemetery is that of the Angel, in the district of El Agustino. Meanwhile, in Ica, groups of residents visit the tomb of Sarah Ellen, a British woman who in 1913 was accused of witchcraft and occultism.
It was even said that on a trip to Transylvania, Dracula himself seduced her and turned her into a vampire woman.
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