Peru Culture and Traditions

Customs and traditions

The feeling of belonging to the Peruvian nation is strong at least in the urban population, and the identity gets its nourishment from the Spanish language, the Catholic religion as well as from food and music traditions. In the Quechua and Aymara people, the local anchorage in the village is usually the most important, along with an awareness of the ancestral power of the ancestors.

Especially the Aymara Indians in the south have close contacts with their relatives in Bolivia. The Japanese and Chinese minorities have largely retained their own traditions.

  • Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Peru, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.

Social and economic factors, as well as traditions, are crucial to how Peruvians live and act. In rural areas, people are often dependent on the annual rhythm of agriculture and the needs of animals. They get up early, go to bed early and work hard, at least most of the year. The interruptions in everyday life consist mainly of recurring village parties and religious ceremonies. The urban poor – at best – have two or three different jobs and do not have much free time. In addition, many families are divided. The upper middle class and the prosperous elite have largely embraced the Western lifestyle, both the North American and the Southern European. They often spend evenings at restaurants or bars with friends and relatives.

Know and label

Most Peruvians have a strong sense of the nation, and since ancient times willpower and self-discipline are considered virtues. While it is important to control their emotions – especially between men – many can show off a humorous side, and they are eager to make visitors feel comfortable. Respect for older citizens is strong, and it is obvious to offer their seat on a bus. As in many other countries, youth are criticized, who are considered to have abandoned traditional virtues.

Remarks or questions about the ethnic origin of persons should be avoided. This also applies to critical views on Peru, if not asked directly. You should also not joke about the Peruvian lifestyle. Avoid kissing and sexual intercourse in public. This is especially true for gays.

According to Abbreviationfinder, Peru consists of two different worlds in terms of clothes. In the capital and other major cities, Western clothing, exclusive or simple and used, dominates, except in the poor areas where many immigrants from the countryside live. Rural farmers, who often belong to the indigenous population, usually go in the traditional colonial attire, and colors, patterns and models differ between different regions and communities. This applies to women’s typical “Western” hats, as well as knitted hats, ponchos, skirts, shirts and wide belts. Most garments are knitted or woven.

Meetings and ways of health

Coming on time to work or school is considered a virtue, but it does not always work. However, it is usually wrong not to arrive at least 15 minutes, maybe half an hour, late to an agreed meeting. Anyone who arrives too early can be seen as exaggeratedly eager.

At the first meeting, you greet – both men and women – with a powerful handshake and say “buenos días”, “buenas tardes” or “buenas noches”, depending on the time. Eye contact is important. If you meet several people you first greet the elders. If the person’s title is known, he or she should be addressed with this and the last name, otherwise with señor / señora and the name. One should again take the persons in hand when separating. Close friends usually greet with a kiss on one cheek, with the exception of younger men. Instead, they give each other a blow on the palm or touch each other’s shoulders.

As is customary in Latin countries, people are very close to each other during conversations, and it is important to keep eye contact at all times. Many gestures are performed with the hands to emphasize what is being said.

If the conversation becomes lively, it is not wrong to interrupt someone else who is speaking and make their own views, but this is mainly the case for younger or between peers who know each other. Respect for the elderly is important, and they should therefore be allowed to speak to the point. Avoid sensitive topics and get too personal; let your Peruvian counterpart determine the level of the call.

Friends and relatives usually visit each other completely spontaneously. Those who are invited to a family more formally are not expected to donate any lavish gifts, but simpler gifts such as fruit or wine are always appreciated. If, for example, a visitor who is in a market with Peruvian acquaintances shows interest in a particular product, it is not uncommon for Peruvians to insist on buying it for the visitor, and they will be injured if the visitor declines the proposal.


The typical family eats three daily meals together, but sometimes it becomes a snack early evening in anticipation of dinner a few hours later. Most meals include rice, beans, tropical fruits and fish. Also raw fish on the coast. The most important food of the Indians is corn. Often meals are started with soup. The lunch is the most important meal, especially in the upper and middle class, and those who have the opportunity then take a siesta.

Schoolchildren in the cities often start the day with a light breakfast. Many poor children in rural areas go to school with an empty stomach, but many schools can offer them a simple breakfast.

Anyone who is a polite meal guest eats all the food on offer – so do not take too large portions in the beginning. A good table condition is also appreciated, so hold both hands over the edge of the table, but no elbows on the table. However, it is acceptable if the forearm moves on the table.


According to Countryaah, national holidays include New Year’s Day, three Easter days, May 1 (Día del Trabajo), All Saints Day, The Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción) December 8, and Christmas Day.

On June 29, a religious holiday is celebrated which is a tribute to Peter and Paul (Día de San Pedro y San Pablo). The holiday coincides in some places with the Indigenous People’s Party (Inti Raymi) to celebrate the winter solstice (in the southern hemisphere), whose formal date is June 24. In Cuzco, the party today is almost like a “tourist jeep”. America’s first Catholic saint, a woman born in Lima in 1586, is celebrated with a public holiday on August 30 (Día de Santa Rosa de Lima).

Almost every community has at least one annual festival of processions, usually to pay tribute to a patron saint. Most famous is the Lord of the Miracles (Señor de los Milagros) in Lima in October in memory of a Christ image that survived unscathed during an earthquake in 1655. In many festivals, Catholic traditions are mixed with ancient Native American rituals. On November 2, the day after All Saints’ Day, an important feast is held for the indigenous peoples, The Day of the Dead, when the spirits of the deceased are believed to be traveling around the earth, among other things, to visit their relatives.

Peru’s most important non-religious feast is Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) on July 28, and July 29, which is the day of the Armed Forces. Also a holiday on October 8 has military connection. Then the Battle of Angamos (Combate de Angamos) is celebrated in 1879 during the Pacific War, when Chile’s fleet defeated and conquered Peru’s most important ship, Huascar.

Peru Immigration Statistics



Gas pipeline is inaugurated

A large pipeline for the transport of gas from the jungle in the east to Lima is inaugurated.



The president apologizes for the abuse

President Toledo apologizes publicly for the state’s abuse during the war on guerrillas. A number of millions are set aside to improve conditions in the areas most affected by the violence.


70,000 dead in the war on guerrillas

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission submits its report and notes that over 69,000 people, most of whom were Indians in Andean villages, are estimated to have been killed in the violence between the guerrillas and the military in the years 1980-2000. About 6,000 others are reported missing.

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