If you were home, you may probably be attending a Halloween party, or taking your kids trick-or-treating. But you are in Peru, and yes, the globalization has brought Halloween here too, but certainly it does not have the same importance as in other countries: the efforts of candy, chocolate and other sweet treats manufacturers have been targeted mostly to kids, while some Halloween parties are organized for young people.
Most of the adult Peruvians prefer to celebrate (or at least, to remember) the “Día de la Canción Criolla” (Creole Music Day); according to a recent survey, more than 85% listen to creole music and more than 58% actually celebrates it, either organizing some kind of friend gathering or attending any creole show. Moreover, some 88% of the Peruvians say openly that they enjoy creole music, even if they don’t listen it often.
So you may be interested in getting to know a little of this s celebration. It was officially established on October 18th, 1944. However, the history of creole music starts in the early 1920s (and even before that), as the popular music among Lima working classes. With the influences of Vienna waltzes, Spanish jota, Polish mazurka and the Afroperuvian folk sounds, its main instruments are the guitar and the cajón, as a cheerful accompaniment for powerful singing voices. Rumour has it the date was chosen because November 1st is a holiday, which allowed for a long celebration party.
The idea of this celebration is still to remember and honor creole music authors and composers, many of who have written memorable masterpieces that have become kind of unofficial Peruvian anthems.
If you still want to party on Halloween you will surely find some partys at local discos. But if you want to explore on the creole music celebrations, many peñas, restaurants, pubs, and even discos will schedule special parties to celebrate the Canción Criolla, so you may want to take a look at local newspapers or simply ask a friend or your hotel clerk for a more personalized recommendation.
If you have Peruvian friends, you may be invited at someone´s place, for a real local celebration, and with a little luck you may get to see a real jarana, that is, a creole party where the attendants do sing and play instruments, taking turns.
Photo: Creole Music performers (Steve Levi/Flickr)