viernes, 2 de enero de 2015

¡Bienvenido 2015!

Ecuador is known for having one of the "strangest" traditions world wide to welcome the new year and say good bye to the last one. The tradition starts in the morning of the 31st, when plenty of men of all social classes dress in drag (make up, long colorful hair, mini skirts and blouses) and dance in the streets, and pretend to be crying, stopping the cars to get some money from the drivers. The money is thought to be used for the "funeral" of the year that will be dying that night (the money is usually spent in beer and food, though). These men dressed like women represent the "widows" of the year that is "dying".
Source: La Hora
Another "must" in New Year's Eve is for every family to have a viejo.  A viejo is a kind of scarecrow made out of old clothes, filled with paper. This scarecrow represents the year that is passing, and it usually has a mask with the face of a politician or of a known charachter which was famous along the year. At 00:00, the viejos are burned on the street in order to forget the bad and in name of good fortune for the next year.

Source: Vistazo
But before we burn our beloved viejos, we have to read their will (testamento in Spanish). This is written by a family member and it must include every member in the family. In this text, people usually make fun of events that took place in the family along the year.

Finally, some other traditions are worth mentioning. For instance, running with a wheeled suitcase  around the block could mean that you will go on a trip next year, or wearing yellow underpants in the night of the 31st will bring money to you.

And what about you? How did you celebrate New Year's Eve?

We wish you all a Happy New Year from Ecuador!