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Language and Peruvian Traditions

Peru has very long stranding and distinctive traditions. It also has two official languages Spanish and Quechua. There is also a third language that is very widespread, called Aymara, however, it never gained an official status. Considering the historical background of Peru and its close links with Spain, Spanish became popular in Peru after the Spanish conquistadors entered Peru and started spreading Spanish traditions and language. As well as Peru, Spanish was introduced into other Latin American countries around the seventeenth century after the colonisation started. The indigenous people of Peru preferred to keep their traditions alive and kept the Quechua and Aymara languages alive also. Some historians claim that the introduction of Spanish culture has had a significant and detrimental effect on the indigenous population of Peru and has undermined their traditions and customs.

Regarding the traditional holidays, there are several main holidays that Peruvians vigorously celebrate. One of the most famous is All Saints’ Day on 1st November where the spirits of the dead are celebrated with vivid costumes and spiritual attributes. Due to the introduction of Catholicism many holidays are related to religion, such as St Peter and St Paul’s Day on 29th of June and Immaculate Conception day on 8th of December.

In Quechua Peruvians also celebrate the Sun Festival or Inti Raymi, which is the second largest celebration in Latin America if you compare it with the Carnival in Brazil. Its significance is similar to Christmas and has the status of the main holiday of the year. Its history traces back to ancient times when it was initiated by Incas and was religious in nature to celebrate the powers of the Sun. In the times of paganism, people celebrated the God of the Sun and sacrificed animals when praying for a healthy harvest. Needless to say that when the religious Spaniards conquered the land, Inti Raymi was banned until it was later reintroduced by natives. Nowadays, in Cusco, the celebration is very vivid including dressing up as the king of Incas and the celebrants pray and sing celebrating the God.

Many Peruvian traditions have passed from one generation to another and continue to fascinate the minds and hearts of tourists who are lucky to visit one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Over the years tributes to the traditions have became especially strong and after Independence Day, Peruvians regained their partially diluted identity.