So here we are in Cusco, Peru, the ‘navel of the world’ in the eyes of some, observing the build up to the NYE2017 celebrations in 12 hours time. Cusco is, we read, the top destination for Peruvians when it comes to celebrating NYE, and one of the top 10 worldwide. In Cusco the colour of NYE is Yellow, and the markets are filled with yellow items – knickers & pants, bras, ties, hats, confetti, tinsel and much more. Wearing yellow, especially underwear, is supposed to bring you luck for the coming year. Green underwear might bring you money, and red underwear helps bring you love. Our underwear will remain black!
So why yellow? It’s in honour of the sun, a much worshipped entity or deity in these parts, not least as a result of one or more of the Inca creation myths, in which the sun god Inti is the second most important god after the creator god Viracocha. The myth goes that Inti married the moon goddess Quilla, and they gave birth to the first two Inca, one of whom was Manco Capac (1st Inca ruler, who possibly married his sister) ensuring the Inca could claim divinity & the right to rule thereafter.
Virtually all religions/cultures have creation myths, christians have the Virgin Mary & baby Jesus. Inca myth info here and here.
So what happens tonight in Cusco? Well ‘everybody’ goes to the main Plaza Mayor in high spirits, drinks, sings, dances, listens to music, and at midnight goes mental – letting off fireworks everywhere and running around the Plaza for good luck! The ground may shake from the pounding feet…or it could be an earthquake! Of course not ‘everybody’ goes to the Plaza as it doesn’t hold half a million people – we suspect it’ll be tourists, Peruvian visitors to Cusco, and some Cusquenians. The majority of Cusquenians will be in other plazas, bars, cafes and eachother’s homes having, we hope, a very good time – see here for customs. We’ll be checking out the city centre later this evening, hoping the rain holds off. It’s been announced by the Mayor that, unlike previous years, celebrations in the main Plaza will be terminated at 1am, and the Plaza cleared. So we’ll see what happens….
HNY everybody, here’s to a more positive, progressive & peaceful 2017.