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People In Peru Settle Arguments With Christmas Day Fighting Festival

Jake Massey

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| Last updated 

People In Peru Settle Arguments With Christmas Day Fighting Festival

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and laughter, but invariably we end up fighting, whether it's 'cause your brother is cheating at Monopoly or your mum has brought up that awkward topic over dinner.

But in Peru, many people spend the day actually fighting. As in, properly punching the s**t out of each other.

The fisticuffs is part of Takanakuy festival, which takes place in the province of Chumbivilcas, in the Andes.

Merry Christmas. Credit: Alamy
Merry Christmas. Credit: Alamy

Men and women, young and old, participate in the fighting as crowds watch on and a referee makes sure competitors follow the rules - such as no biting or hair pulling.

It may sound counterintuitive, but the purpose of the festive fighting is to instil peace in communities. Rather than harbour grudges against your neighbours, people are given the chance to get their beef out in the open, blow off some of that frustration, and then leave it behind them.

In keeping with this purpose, each fight begins and ends with a hug or a handshake.

Explaining what it's all about to Vice, teacher Victor Laime Mantilla said: "This is a way to maintain order in Chumbivilcas.

Beats charades. Credit: Alamy
Beats charades. Credit: Alamy

"A lot of districts around here don’t have police stations. It’s one of the first things they should have in a zone like this, but there’s nothing because this is how laws are regulated here.

"Before, justice in Chumbivilcas was solely administered by powerful people, people from the community always lost their case. What can I do with a justice like that? I’d rather have my own justice in public.

"It’s a way for the people to speak up. It’s like we solve it here and we start something new, but in peace. That’s why Takanakus both starts and ends with a hug. It’s an important role of Takanakuy."

You can see the appeal really - that w****r on your street who litters would be a lot more tolerable if you knew you got to deck 'em on Christmas Day.

Watch some Takanakuy scrapping here:

As if this didn't already sound great enough, the fighting is just one small part of Takanakuy.

The whole festival goes on for days and also involves lots of dressing up, drinking and dancing in the streets.

So, who's dreaming of a Chumbivilcas Christmas?

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Christmas

Jake Massey
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