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Sacred flower of the Incas

Cantua buxifolia is a species of plant in the polychaete family. It is native to Peru and Bolivia. Known in the area of its occurrence under the local name cantuta derived from qantu Ketchua language. The national flower of Peru is referred to as the “sacred flower of the Incas”. Due to its flower colors, reminiscent of the Bolivian flag, it was chosen as the “national flower” of Bolivia. 1)


Lima is one of the largest and oldest cities in the Americas. It was founded by conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. The city is home to the oldest continuously operating university in the Americas - the National University of San Marcos, founded in 1551. 2)


Pollada is a Peruvian dish, and a popular way in Peru to raise money for some important and urgent cause. Hosts prepare a party where a chicken dish is always served; pollada and beer. For entry, party attendees make voluntary donations. The profit from a pollada can be over 2000 soli, which is a large sum since the average monthly income of Peruvian families is 600-800 sol. 3)

Name origin

According to the most popular theory, the name Peru (Spanish: Perú, Ketchua: Piruw) comes from the local word biru - “river”. Peru is a country in the western part of South America, on the Pacific Ocean. It is the third-largest country on the continent after Brazil and Argentina and the second-largest Andean country after Argentina. The capital of Peru is Lima. 4)

Shrinking human head

The Jivaro Indians living in Peru, after killing an enemy, would cut off his head, remove the skin from the skull along with the hair, sew the mouth and eyelids together, and then boil it. They then hung it over the fire to harden and blacken it. Europeans who encountered the custom of the Jivaro Indians in the 19th century became very interested in such peculiar trophies. Demand was so great that the Indians began to produce forgeries from animal skins. 5)

Mainstream religion

In Peru, the mainstream religion is Catholicism practiced by over 60% of the population. 6)

Flag of Peru

The flag of Peru consists of three vertical stripes: two in red divided by white in the middle. It is related to a legend according to which José de San Martín, an Argentine general, saw numerous flocks of flamingos when he arrived in Peru in 1820. This was a sign of providence for him and he decided to adopt red and white as a symbol of the fight for independence. White refers to peace, purity, and integrity, while red indicates courage and war. The flag was officially adopted on February 25, 1825. 7)


We owe tomatoes and potatoes to Peruvian farmers, as they are native to the country. 8)


Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world. 9)


In 2013, Peru was officially recognized by the United Nations as the largest cocaine producer in the world. The country's annual cocaine market is valued at $1 billion. 10)

Peruvian corn

There are 55 different varieties of corn growing in Peruvian fields, and in markets or stores, you can find them in yellow, purple, white, and even black. 11)


Peru is overgrown with 3,500 varieties of orchids and it is estimated that as many are still unidentified. 12)


Before a Peruvian couple can stand on the wedding ring they must go through a period called “sirvinacuy”. It consists of helping each other - the lovers have to help their future in-laws. It is treated as a kind of test of readiness for sacrifice and marriage. During this time the couple can sleep under the same roof (usually with the future husband's family) and it is even advisable because they cannot say “I do” to each other until they conceive a child. 13)


The national animal of Peru is the Vicuña, which is the smallest member of the camel family. 14)

Perro sin Pelo

Perro sin Pelo, or literally Naked Peruvian Dog, is an extremely calm and friendly dog breed. 15)


The national dance is the Marinera, which comes in two varieties. The first one is limeña (more dignified) and norteña (with a faster tempo). Every year a national competition in Marinera dance is organized in a town called Trujillo. 16)

Chicha Morada

Chicha Morada is a non-alcoholic drink typical of the country. It is made from purple corn and adds other fruits and Peruvian lemon. 17)

peru.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/07 06:21 by aga