Burning the Old Year


New Year's Eve is one of the biggest events of the year in Ecuador. Big city and small town communities alike gather together to celebrate the coming of the new year and, more importantly, saying goodbye to the old year. They celebrate this very important time with food, parties and a tradition of literally burning the old year.

What tradition did I learn about?:

I learned about the traditions that take place on New Year's Eve in Ecuador. In the days before the holiday, people buy a monigote, which is a large doll or character. This doll signifies the año viejo, or the old year, as well as all of the bad people and things that came into their lives during the old year. In the minutes before midnight, people go outside and burns their monigotes! This symbolizes getting rid of all the bad of the old year. People then jump over the fire of the burning doll for good luck.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

 In Ecuador, the año nuevo is super important because people believe it brings a fresh start. By burning a doll that represents the old year, people feel as though they are starting the new year with a clean slate.

Is this tradition connected to its environment? How?:

This tradition is not connected directly to the environment.