The city of Cusco, «the navel of the world», is one of the most special places to wait with overflowing joy and hope for the advent of the «New Year», which will be a magical night where the celebration takes place with people from all over the world, this party takes place in the Plaza Mayor of the city of Cusco.
In Cusco Perú, New year’s eve is a wild, exciting, and hilarious event. It is characterized by free concerts, fireworks, various drinks, and fun local traditions. Discover for yourself why the ancient imperial city of the Incas is the most popular city in Peru to celebrate the holidays!
How is celebrated the New year’s eve in Cusco Perú?
One of the favorite places for the inhabitants of Cusco and visitors from all over the world; is to be located in the middle and around the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. Large crowds of both locals and travelers gather here a couple of hours before midnight; the space becomes a welcoming center of energy and joy that offers us a scene of beautiful fireworks and the burning of rockets. Exactly at midnight the people entwined in hugs and mentalizing their wishes to receive the new year; they will start moving counterclockwise around the water fountain in the middle of the square. The custom says that running seven laps around the Plaza de Armas brings good luck for the new year.
Another typical New year’s eve tradition in Cusco Perú is running around the block carrying an empty suitcase that symbolizes the desire to carry out a trip during the coming year.
As part of other traditions and customs, it is also recommended to receive the New Year by using amulets and spells such as wearing yellow garments and other accessories of this color that the old tradition says attracts good luck; likewise eat 12 grapes just before midnight, mentalizing a desire for each one; Another custom is to fill your pockets with lentils to attract money and fortune. Hours before the New Year, the streets of Cusco and the most popular markets are crowded with merchants and vendors who expose this type of products… so desired by the inhabitants of Cusco as an expression of self-motivation and joy very characteristic of this special date.
After midnight and after having welcomed 2019 in the middle of the Plaza Mayor, amid shouts and hubbub, dreams and hopes… people want to continue enjoying the start of the new year, going to nightlife centers, which offer good music, dance, nice food and drink; that make this special date an unforgettable experience for its local inhabitants and its various visitors. The experience of welcoming the New Year in Cusco, it is not possible to feel it told… you have to live it intensely visiting this beautiful and magical place.
Run around the Main Square
Fireworks and bombardments abound everywhere. Everyone is selling and buying, and everyone is lighting them and at midnight the Plaza de Armas in Cusco lights up not only with the official fireworks of the municipality, but also with all the fireworks that the revelers light. Thousands of fireworks go off on the hillsides surrounding the city; They are less impressive than the official fireworks that take place in the Plaza de Armas because they are smaller, but they do serve to illuminate the night.
The city of Cusco is undoubtedly a magical place, many travelers gather here for the New Year celebrations
When December 31 is about to close at midnight and the New Year is approaching, there is a famous tradition that is to run around the Plaza de Armas in a counter-clockwise direction. When the clock strikes midnight, people hold hands even if they do not know each other and they will begin to circle around the parade ground and with so many people crowded in motion, you must start moving too! Depending on the speed of those around you, you may find yourself walking slowly or running fast, luckily throwing time backwards.
Music, celebration and joy are the note until dawn.
Welcoming the new year in Cusco holds a lot of excitement, not only because it says goodbye to the old year, but also because people fill up with a lot of energy and place their hope for a better year to come.
Here are some ideas that people usually do:
- Running around the main square, so that desired trips are made during the year.
- Take out the heaviest, damaged or no longer useful items such as: electrical appliances, old chairs, etc.
- Giving away or throwing away clothes and shoes that you don’t wear.
- Clean the house, sweep and leave every corner clean.
- Ring a bell around every corner.
- Place in the bedrooms and dining room, branches of good grass and yellow roses.
- Prepare the dining room table with a good tablecloth, light a candle and incense of sandalwood and fruits of all colors, do not lack peaches for love and abundant food.
- Flowers and sweets at the entrance of the house.
- A bowl with lentils, rice and coins.
- May there be no lack of ears of wheat for abundance and all the lights on.
- And we couldn’t put aside the 12 grapes that will make our wishes come true.
What to do in New year’s eve in Cusco Perú?
To spend the New Year in Cusco it is recommended to stay for at least 4 days in which you can take the opportunity to get to know the main tourist places of the city such as the Santo Domingo Convent Cusco, Saqsayhuaman, the beautiful Sacred Valley, the Salt Mines of Maras and of course Macchu Picchu. However, if you want to visit a place a little less known and frequented by tourists, you can choose to visit the Humantay Lagoon.
This beautiful lagoon that is located at the foot of the Nevado de Humantay and that is on the route to know the Salkantay Mountain, is a quiet place where the calm, harmonious landscape stands out and is also a very good destination if you want to start the year full of adrenaline since in the town of Soraypampa, which is the town from where the walk to the lagoon begins, you can do Zip Line before or after, without a doubt a destination in which it is worth receiving the New Year.
Another destination a little less commercial is the Pero lniyoc waterfall with its almost 100 m. falling, this beautiful waterfall is an hour and a half from Ollantaytambo which is accessed by car to the town of Socma and then a short and quiet walk of about 45 minutes. You can visit this place before going to Ollantaytambo to board the train to Machu Picchu.
Touring Cusco is discovering endless mysterious places, with hidden stories in corners that you may have never seen before stepping on this country. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Perú, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.
As you can see, there are several places that the city of Cusco offers, places where you can renew energy, meet new people and of course get to know a culture as rich as the Andean one as well.