Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas in Arequipa, Peru

The Huachi Huachi Children and Their Christmas Custom

In the country of  Peru, in the City of Arequipa, high in the Andes Mountains, boys and girls form groups called "Huachi, Huachi." They visit homes every evening for the entire Christmas Season. The children knock on the door or ring the doorbell. The family invites them in to visit the "Nacimiento," the Christmas Scene which every family, no matter how poor, prepares for Christmas. The children want to welcome Jesus to the home and to their neighborhood.

The boys and girls are excited, and happy, and they come to entertain the Christ Child.
They stand around the Christmas Scene of  The Birth of  Jesus, the (Nacimiento.)
Each child  sings a Christmas Song.
Then, he or she selects a partner and does a little dance.
Next, the child  recites a poem.
And last, he or she offers a prayer.

After all the children have performed, the family shares whatever they have.
This may be candy, sweet bread, cookies, hot chocolate, tea or bread or hot soup. Even the poorest family will make sacrifices to share what they have, because they want all the children to learn that

Jesus is the Son of God and he was born for us in Bethlehem

An angel came to announce his birth to Mary, a young girl. The Angel Gabriel told her she was to be the Mother of God.
Today we call her,
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

When Jesus, her baby, grew up, He was sent to tell us of God's Love and the Peace that comes to the whole world and to every heart when we love one another.  The Virgin Mary is his Mother and St. Joseph, his foster father.

When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph were traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem. When they arrived there was no room for them at the inn where most people stayed. Jesus was born in a place where animals lived, but angels announced his birth to
shepherds who were watching their sheep in nearby hills. The angels sang
 "Glory to God and Peace on Earth to people of Good Will!"

The shepherds listened to the angels and came to Bethlehem. They came to adore the newborn baby, and later, Three Wise Men from far away arrived to bring him special gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh because they had seen a special star and followed it.

In Arequipa, families want their children to follow Jesus and live as he taught us, loving and serving one another. I hope you will learn about Him, too. Jesus is always with us. Welcome Jesus to your home and heart and have a Blessed Christmas!

If you put the mouse on the photo, and click, the photo will be enlarged. Click "Back" to return to the story.