Saturday, January 3, 2009

Celebrating "The Old Year"

Well, it was pretty crazy here ringing the new year. They have some very interesting traditions that we thought we could share with you. A few days before the 1st, we started to notice people selling life-size dummies on the sidewalks, along with firecrackers. We learned that the Ecuadorians use this time to erase "the bad" of the past year so that the next year is hopefully much better. The dummies are stuffed with wood, firecrackers, paper and sawdust. They use it to "burn" away the bad memories. For instance, the dummies can be made to resemble people they know, famous people, ex-husbands....etc.
They begin the evening "begging" in the streets for money for the "dummy" funeral. For instance, they will completely block off roads and make any cars that pass "donate" for the "funeral"....if you don't donate, they bang on the car, or worse. At midnight, they begin the "funeral"..burning the dummies. If the year has been bad they kick or wipe it out before it completely burns, hoping for a better year next year! Since the dummies are stuffed with firecrackers, you can imagine the noise that ensues..along with the loud music, car alarms and fireworks.
All and all it is a pretty wild night, with the party STARTING at midnight. This video is to share a very SMALL portion of what we experienced that night...


video

1 comment:

Dustin said...

Wow don't get near the fires, you might get pee'd on too!!!!!!!!!!! How are you guys, luv the reading. Sorry I haven't been here for a while, always to busy. We just came back from angie and ed's, they are doing well. Let me see if I can get a pic here or send it to your email.

Bye for now.