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By Bob Italia

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Members of the congress serve five-year terms. Republic of Peru 31 Peru’s congress meets in July 2001 to swear in 120 new members. 32 Peru Celebrations When early Spanish missionaries came to Peru, they wanted to end the indigenous people’s festivals. So they began celebrating Catholic saints’ days with indigenous festivals. Today, many of Peru’s festivals are a mix of both Catholic and indigenous beliefs. Nearly every village has its own patron saint. Villagers celebrate their patron saint’s day with dancing, music, food, and costumes.

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One of Peru’s most famous authors is Mario Vargas Llosa (mah-REE-oh VAHR-gahs YO-sah). In 1990, he ran for president of Peru, but lost to Alberto Fujimori. His novels explore Peru’s culture and politics. Watching soccer matches is another activity many Peruvians Mario Vargas Llosa enjoy. The soccer season lasts from March to November. During that time, many Peruvians attend matches at Lima’s national stadium. Bullfighting also draws large crowds. They watch a person called a matador fight a bull.

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