Each year on May 25, Peru celebrates the Peruvian Clown Day in honor of José Alvarez Vélez, better known as Tony Perejil, a popular clown who died on that day in 1987.
In the late 1970s and in the 1980s Tony Perejil, the Clown of the Poor, set up his colorful tent in the shantytowns of the Peruvian capital and brought happiness and laughter to the children and adults living there. The little money he made, he donated to charity. And while he gave so much joy to those that needed it the most, Tony Perejil died alone in a hospital bed on May 25, 1987.
To this day, many citizens of Lima remember the humble, benevolent and entertaining clown, who made people laugh even in the worst situations, in nostalgia and perhaps as well with a little regret.
So, each year on his day of death, hundreds of professional clowns from all over the country come to Lima and parade through the historic city center in colorful costumes and wigs, large clown shoes and painted faces. Usually many other circus artists join them.
Besides the traditional clown parade, the municipality of Lima in cooperation with the Experimental Clown School and the Peruvian Cultural Association of Clowns and Circus Artists (ACPACP) organizes clown shows, circus performances and a festival celebrating all aspects of the circus world.