Friday, January 1

New Year's: Chancho & Yellow Undies

2009 ended with a bang--on another continent, eating chancho (pork), shooting off fireworks and wearing yellow undies. Okay, I really didn't wear yellow undies for good luck, as is the New Year's tradition here.

David, Juliana, Luz, Sergio and I headed downtown in mancha (group) to check out what the street vendors had to offer. Like Christmas Eve, the main drag was filled with people selling yellow New Year's everything--hats, underwear, fireworks, you name it.

Juliana, our elected negotiator, got us a handful of sparklers and pirate hats. We were set.

Since we didn't have a big enough oven for the pig, we paid a local bakery $2 for them to cook it, and then picked it up around 10 pm.
At around 11:45, the meal was finally out on the table just in time to rush outside for the impromptu, town-wide fireworks show and a toast to 2010. David and Sergio took part.
Here was a post-midnight shot of Juliana, David, Luz and Sergio.

Behind them and across the street, we saw a very Peruvian New Year's tradition--burning a doll. The horrible smell that it emits gives you an idea of what the doll is made of--everything that symbolizes a bad year that you want to put in the past.

While my nose is no specialist, I think the closest doll was made of rotten fruits, excrement and old cloths. Supposedly, the tradition has been outlawed because of the toxic fumes that sometimes escape, but it seemed to be alive and well in Huaraz.

After a hearty meal, we left for the bar strip around 1 am, which they ironically called Barranquito (Barranco is a hip bar neighborhood). The street was crowded with teenagers and 20-somethings passing their glass of rum or beer around their circle of friends (a Peruvian drinking custom). We watched a free concert they had set up in the street for awhile before arriving home around 3 am.

There was no Auld Lang Syne (thank God, because I never understood the lyrics), nor were there resolutions exchanged. But there was a midnight kiss!

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