In Denmark, they break dishes.
In the Philippines they wear polka-dots.
In Ecuador it seems we burn “scarecrows” at midnight.
It’s a cultural New Year’s tradition we’ve just learned, and it really brightens up the roadways in the last days leading up to New Year’s Day.
Since Thursday or so, Dana and I have noticed colorful papier mache-like characters everywhere. The Hulk. Sponge Bob. Minnie Mouse. You name it. Strapped to vehicles driving down the road, on moto-taxis, prominently adorned on peoples’ homes. They are everywhere, and are called ano veijos “the old years.”
These colorful characters are everywhere, and to the Ecuadorian people, represent all the old problems of the past year. They are burned at midnight as a way to represent a fresh start.
And depending on how much one’s had to drink depends on exactly where, and how, it is burned. Some have told us they can be seen burning on cars as they drive down the road as the clock approaches midnight. Can’t wait to see that.