The world is confusing and a little sad, but there’s always something colorful happening somewhere. After two years of cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on Wednesday, May 25th, hundreds of clowns celebrated in the streets of Peru, Lima, to celebrate Peruvian Clown Day. The annual celebration honors the Peruvian clown, José Alvarez Vélez, who died May 25 1987.
Reuters shared a video of the colorful event on YouTube which features an interview by one of the clowns, Smith Sarmiento. “It’s an honor to be a clown. You live in a magic world, to which only a few get access. It’s a colorful world, full of love, fantasy, and also full of emotions,” he says excitedly in Spanish. “I am very proud of being a clown and belonging to them. I believe we all have a clown inside of us, but only a few get to find it or release it. I did it a long time ago, and now, I am happy,” he continued.”
How the holiday started
The Peruvian celebration started in 2006, in honor of Vélez who was known as “Tony Perejil,” or the ‘Clown of the Poor.’ Per Euronews, he was known for bringing happiness and laughter to the children and adults living in impoverished neighborhoods in Lima during the 1970s and 80s. He would set up his colorful circus tent for the citizens and donated the little money he earned to charity.
Since 2006 hundreds of clowns from around the country parade through the streets holding shows and circus performances honoring him and other clowns that have passed.
This year Jorge Contreras was honored, and his clown colleague carried his ashes through the parade. The clown was known as, “Copetin” and he died of pancreatic cancer during the pandemic. “Today we break our mourning and let him rest in peace while we return to our colorful suits,“ said clown Lerner Diaz, per EuroNews.