New Years Eve in Ecuador Like in other countries in Ecuador fittingly celebrated. The whole family, friends and neighbors come together for a great banquet and turn the streets into a big and colourful party, dancing until the early hours. Of course fireworks should not be missing on midnight to welcome the new year.
Already weeks before the New Years Eve, the people start building the “Año Viejo”, up to 10 m high dolls, made of paper, old clothes and wooden masks. Often they portrait famous people like politicians, actors or cartoon characters. The people put a lot of money and effort in creating them. In Quito and Guayaquil even exist competitions of the best doll. At midnight then, the dolls are burnt down and with them all the bad of the previous year disappears. Some are even filled with fireworks and blown up. Before the burning the families read out a testament, which tells in an ironic and sarcastic way about the happenings in the last year and gives some advices for the future.
Another typical Ecuadorian New Years Eve tradition is that the men dress up like Viudas (widows) and walk through the streets, collecting alms for the funeral of their dead men. However not mourning, but in a provocatively and seductive manner. A must have for the Viudas is bright-red lipstick.
Likewise as in Spain you eat a grape with every stroke of the bell at midnight. Each grape stands for a month of the next year and a wish.
If you wish to travel or have more adventure in the next year, you have to run with an empty suitcase around the quarter. For more prosperity, you have to put some banknotes of high value into your shoes and walk them to a bank, while wearing red underwear in the New Years Eve promises luck in love.
No matter what tradition and custom you choose to farewell the last and welcome the new year, in Ecuador you will have for sure a fabulous night.