Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

This Town Celebrates Christmas By Beating The Hell Out Of Each Other

Each year on December 25th, the citizens of the Chumbivilcas Province in Peru celebrate Christmas in a unique way – by wrapping their fists in tape and stepping into a ring to fight friends and family.  They call the event Takanakuy, and it works a little like a real-life Purge.

Credit: Nicolas Villaume

Takanakuy translates to “when the blood is boiling”, and it started centuries ago in Santo Tomas.  Since the city was so isolated, they developed their own method of settling disputes, which mostly involved punching.  It seemed to work as a legal system and had the added benefit of providing people with an outlet for their aggression.  Today it pretty much still works the same way.

While anyone is allowed to fight for any reason, including women and children (with parental permission), many of the matches are to settle legal matters or an argument.  When disagreements arise of the course of the year they tuck away the frustration for this special day.  Wait for Takanakuy.  And the rules are simple: Whoever wins, wins the case.

The fights are not “no-holds-barred”.  Biting is forbidden as well as kicking someone when they are down.  There is a referee in place to prevent things from getting too out of hand.

A large crowd gathers each year to watch the fights while laughing and cheering on the participants.  The people create a joyous atmosphere, which includes singing, dancing, and large amounts of alcohol.  The practice has become so popular it is spreading out to other cities in Peru such as Cuzco and Lima.


So if you have grievances to air this Christmas, perhaps you can herd everyone out into your backyard for your own little version Takanakuy.  For inspiration, here is a little taste of the action:

eature Image: supermookinfiends

No Responses