Clown Day in Peru Date in the current year: May 25, 2022

Clown Day in Peru On May 25, Peruvians celebrate an unusual and joyful holiday named Clown Day. Its main highlight is the traditional parade featuring thousands of professional clowns from all other the country. They march through the historical center of Lima, spreading joy and happiness wherever they go.

The term “clown” refers to a comic performer who employs slapstick or similar types of physical comedy. It was first recorded in the English language in the mid-16th century in the generic meaning “peasant, boor, rustic”. It acquired in the meaning “fool, jester” in the early 17th century and was borrowed by many other languages.

The history of clowning dates back to ancient times. In Ancient Egypt, for example, clowning was closely connected to religion, and the roles of clown and priest were often performed by the same people. In medieval and Renaissance Europe, court jesters (fools) were primarily entertainers, but they also had some political significance. Other predecessors of modern circus clowns include the characters of the commedia delll’arte and harlequins.

The traditional types of modern circus clown began to develop in the 19th century. There are three of them: the white clown (whiteface) is the oldest and most sophisticated of all three types; the red clown (auguste) is its foil; the character clown adopts an eccentric character of some type. The fourth type, the tramp (hobo) clown, is often recognized separately, although technically it is a subtype of the character clown.

Clowns are widely popular across the world, so it’s not surprising they have their own holiday. It is unclear who exactly initiated the observance of Clown Day in Peru, but it is known in honor of whom it is celebrated. May 25 is the death anniversary of José Alvarez Vélez, better known as Tony Perejil, who was a popular Peruvian clown.

Tony Perejil was widely referred to as the “Clown of the Poor”. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, he set up his multicolored tent in poor neighborhoods of Lima and brought laughter, join and happiness to the people living there, helping them overcome their everyday challenges and bringing joy even in the darkest of times. Whatever little money he earned, he donated to charity.

Ironically, the person who made other people’s lives brighter and made them laugh, died alone in a hospital on May 25, 1987. Although more than three decades have passed since his death, many residents of Lima still remember the entertaining, benevolent and humble clown with nostalgia and commemorate his death anniversary by attending the annual clown parade.

Each year on May 25, professional clowns and other circus artists from all corners of Peru come to Lima and parade through the city with painted faces, wearing colorful costumes, large shoes and bright wigs. In addition to the parade, the municipality of Lima in cooperation with the Peruvian Cultural Association of Clowns and Circus Artists (ACPACP) and the Experimental Clown School organizes clown shows and circus performances.

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

Peru

Tags

Clown Day in Peru, holidays in Peru, holidays in Lima, cultural observances, Tony Perejil