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The Twelfth Night

I’m back in Puno (Peru), after three years. Being here again is an experience that moves many feelings on me. I never forgot the huge contrasts in this society that lives between religious fervor and the fear of the hidden mysteries in the earth (called “Pachamama”). Southern Peruvians consume an excessive amount of alcohol at the same time they fulfill the obligations to the Church.

The Twelfth Night is another of the major events that brings vast quantities of people at the entrance of each temple. No parades, no candies, no lights and no confetti for this night. There are “only” queues of hundreds of people who gather to receive the blessing of the priest to their small figurines of the baby Jesus. Everyone wear the best costumes, show the seriousness in their faces with a devotion that makes them pushing each other to get the holy water as soon as possible.

At the end of the rite, the little boy is left safely at home and then, of course, people rush out to consume tones of liters of beer that are waiting for them.

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