On New Year’s eve, we experienced a very different celebration here in Ecuador. The traditions are quite different here, but fun. We had a great time learning and experiencing this with our friends the Burbanos. 1-2 days before New Year’s eve, we began to see paper mache dolls representing the old year. On New year’s eve, starting in the afternoon, ‘the widows’ of the old year come into the streets, stopping cars and asking for money. These ‘widows’ are typically men dressed up as women. We would like to say that this money is used for something good, but the ‘widows’ use it for alcohol. At midnight, to represent the new year coming in, people burn the doll representing the year past.
Additionally, we went down to a street in the tourist district to see large paper mache dolls that were in a contest with other businesses. People were very dressed up, similar to Halloween. It was quite the sight. It was very fun to experience this. Here are some pics to show you a little more what we saw.
The family in front of a big display of figures representing the 'old year'
Los Munecos (the dolls) of the old year
Olga and Caleb
Henry, Joel, Caleb and Simeon