Takanakuy, The Fighting Festival of Peru

So far on Wicked & Weird Around the World we have peeked into some amazingly strange ways different countries celebrate Christmas.  From Shitting Logs to Generous Witches to Giant Cats and Santa’s Demonic Helper, we feel like we’ve seen it all – but we spoke too soon.

Each year on Christmas day, the people of Chumbivilcas community, near Cuzco, in Peru, gather to let off some steam – by beating the crap out of each other. Takanakuy is the name for this unique annual festival where townsfolk gather in the local bullring to work out their differences with a few quick pops to the nose.  Santo Tomas, where the fighting takes place, is a 12 hour drive along tumultuous mountainside to the nearest courthouse, so needless to say it is quite far from, well, anything.  In fact, the law doesn’t really reach out this far and so the townspeople have found an effective way to work out grievances with greedy neighbours or partner stealing friends.

Fighting Festival

Kids duke it out at Takanakuy

There is no discrimination for the fighting – men, women, children and the elderly all partake in what is considered a healthy way to clear the air.  Opponents hug before they throw their fists and there are refs on hand to make sure that no one gets it too bad.  That being said, the fighting can be quite vicious and the face is not off limits.

While it might seem, er, intense, once Takanakuy is over, all returns to normal.  If you ask me, it beats passive aggression.

Check out this video:

When:  December 25th annually

Where:  Santo Tomas, Peru



One thought on “Takanakuy, The Fighting Festival of Peru

  1. Pingback: Takeuchi Matsuri – The Stick Beating Festival | Wicked and Weird…Around The World!

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