In today’s world, you can find a festival for nearly everything. Food, music, movies and anything else you can imagine, even fighting.
Takanakuy is an annual festival in Peru in which individuals engage in bare-knuckle fights. There is dancing and drinking as well, but the main attraction is the fights.
The tradition is used to settle disputes between people and works on a call out system. If you have a dispute with someone you approach the center of the arena or fighting area and call them out by their first and last name. Ther person that has been called out accepts the challenge and both fighters wrap their hands in a cloth and proceed to fight. Kicking and punching is allowed, but no striking on the ground, biting or pulling hair. There are rules to this madness people.
One of the most interesting things is that there is a referee that carries a whip, yes a whip. He uses the whip to maintain order not only with the fight but with the crowd. A fight is won by knockout or the referee deciding one fighter has had enough and at which point he can decide to stop the fight. If a fighter disagrees with the result of their fight they can appeal for another fight.
You might assume that men are the only people that get involved in the fight, but that is not the case. Women, kids, elderly people, everyone gets involved in Takanakuy. If you have had beef with someone for several years you might want to consider taking them on a trip to Peru so you can settle things between the two of you. Nothing ends hostility faster than pummeling on one another.
No explanation is needed as to why you want to fight.
In addition to just fighting, there is a dress factor to the festival. People dress up as characters in traditional Andean culture.
Things tend to get out of control at times, but the referee’s with the whips step in and regain order. It is actually pretty impressive to see them work to corral the spectators and restore order.
Fighters are required to hug before and after the fight starts. Men, women, and children are all able to participate in the fights. Regardless of your age or the reason for the fight, when it is done everyone goes back to being friendly. They drink and celebrate together as part of the tradition.
What do you think about Takanakuy? Is it something that should be practiced in more places around the world? Would you participate? Let us know in the comments section.