New Years Eve in Lima, Peru

After arriving in Lima, we finally decided that Paul and I would remain behind and wait for Darlene to arrive at the airport. It was a perfect day on the last day of the year for a walk, so we wandered out to visit another uncle of Paul’s and then returned home along the coastal cliffs, affording a beautiful view of the ocean and beaches below.

When the night comes around we hang out chatting until midnight, climbing the stairs to the roof of the house to watch the fireworks all over the city. Our neighbours provided the most interesting fireworks displays however, probably because they were so close to us and exploding directly over our heads.

All over the city as far as we could see there were not only fireworks but also life-sized dolls being burned in the street. Paul had told me of this unusual practice on the last bus ride, so I was not surprised to see life-sized people being burned in the street even though it was still a little weird to see it actually happening.

After taking in the fireworks and the burning of the dolls we all sit down to a delicious pork and salad meal together and then continue to chat into the night. Sleep finally comes at around 3am. New year had been a good night.

Coastal cliffs
The coastal cliffs of Lima, from the Magdalena looking towards Miraflores.

security doors
Lima has a reputation for being dangerous in places, and these doors do nothing to persuade you otherwise. Every house has grills and grates and doors and gates and fences and electric or razor wires around them.

A moto-taxi stop. These little 3 wheeled motorbike cars have a limited range in which they can take you, but are very cheap if your destination is within this range.

One of many fireworks going off all over the city during New Years Eve celebrations.

Buring doll
The person on fire in the street is a life-sized doll that is covered with old clothes that are no longer wanted or needed and then burned at midnight on New Years Eve. The belief is that if you do this you are getting rid of the old and therefore making room for the new that will now come in the new year. From what I understand it is only practised in Peru.

Neighborhood fireworks
Our local neighbours let off dozens of amazing fireworks directly above our heads as we were standing on the roof of the house where we were staying.

Street fires
Our local street was filled with burning dolls as far as the eye could see. Somewhere this burning got out of control and a firetruck raced down our street with lights blazing, dodging the existing little fires all the way down the street.

Girls playing with sparklers
We bought the girls of the house some sparklers which they enjoyed playing with.