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Hundreds in Peru mark Clown Day in hopes of getting the holiday official recognition

Clowns march celebrating The Day of the Peruvian Clown, in downtown Lima, Peru, Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Martin Mejia/AP Photo) Clowns march celebrating The Day of the Peruvian Clown, in downtown Lima, Peru, Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Martin Mejia/AP Photo)
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LIMA, Peru -

With their unmistakable red noses, extravagant shoes, colourful outfits and unique makeup, hundreds of clowns Saturday gathered in the streets of Peru’s capital to mark Clown Day. They have sought for years to gain official recognition of the day.

The colorful parade in Lima, which includes awards for the best costumes, makeup, routine and improvisation, takes place every year on May 25.

“In Peru, there is Lawyer’s Day, Ceviche Day, and we also want a Clown Day because it would open doors for us to have support from the State and from the municipalities,” said Marcos Chininín, known as the clown “Chalupa.”

Chininin said the official recognition would give clowns access to government funds and performance spaces overseen by municipalities and local communities, as well as open the possibility of establishing schools to teach the art of clowning.

Members of Parliament have not yet discussed a proposed bill to create the holiday. Chininín, 42, estimated that about 200,000 people across Peru work as clowns, including at children’s events and the circus.

Miguel Ara Stein participated in Saturday’s parade dressed as his character “Chuchurro.” He said establishing the holiday would also be an acknowledgement of the talents that clowns must have.

“You have to have the gift of acting, the gift of character, of improvising,” Ara, 57, said. “We are all born for something and making people laugh is a gift.”

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