New Years

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Gabriela J. Bachman
Professor Lathrop
Writing 1
19 October, 2009
New Years at Home
As I described in essay one, New Years for my family is a very important event and we celebrate it with a number of activities based in superstition. According to Wikipedia (1) superstition is defined as “a credulous belief, not based on reason. The word is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the irrational belief that future events can be influenced”. Despite the fact that Catholicism is the main religion in my country, all Peruvians believe in superstition. New Years Eve is when people confirm these superstitions by performing a variety of strange rituals such as burning a “Muñeco de Año Nuevo”, wearing yellow wrist bands, eating grapes at midnight, and placing lentils in our pockets, all these in order to push some luck and prosperity into our life. In the following paragraphs I will be making a deeper analysis on the meaning of these rituals and explaining why these rituals are still being carried by Peruvian families.

One of the most famous rituals and the first I described in essay one is building and burning our first “Muñeco de Año Nuevo.” A “Muñeco de Año Nuevo” is an effigy of an important public person that had caused a big commotion during the year. Since in the past decades, politics has been a topic that has caused deception and discontent to Peruvians; this is the reason why effigies are mostly created to represent politicians as showed in this passage from essay one: “we made an effigy of Alberto Fujimori, who was the president at that time, and who didn’t have a good reputation.” Since my family is very interested in politics, this ritual is a joy for them. The part of the ritual they enjoy the most is the burning of the effigy. This doesn’t mean we want to see the real person in flames, but we see it as type of anger therapy, as means of getting rid of all the frustrations we have...
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