Monday, January 3, 2011

Faliz Año Nuevo! 2011 in Ecuador

The day after, there are burned areas everywhere, good-bye old year and old troubles.

There were life size effigies everywhere Friday morning.

The Senior Missionaries - eating again-

Everyone was in a festive mood.

One of the displays along Amazonas.

Mom with Woody!

Dad with Buzz, this is by a little video store close to our office

After the burning.

Office Elders just before the burning.

Elder Vomocil with our offices effigie.

Well, The New Year celebration in Ecuador is an exciting experience. Maybe next year we will venture out of our apartment for a closer look. There are several traditions that are interesting and different. First off between Christmas and New Years many take vacations so we really didn´t accomplish much this week but we came into the office every day. Just so you know we are working. One tradition is to make effigies or mannequins, some are of people but others represent difficulties or problems from the old year that you don´t want to continue into the New Year. These were all over and some were very cute. We saw them tied to the front of cars and on motorcycles as well as sitting in front of offices and homes. At midnight on New Year’s eve these are set on fire and burned up. Everyone has fireworks and just before midnight they start setting them off. It is not an organized fireworks display but hundreds of firecrackers, roman candles and other fireworks start going off, it sounds like you are on the front lines of a war zone. It was so loud it woke us up, (we were trying to stay awake to watch it all but we are old and tired). The main street that is close to our office was completely closed to traffic and all sorts of vendors and large paper mache displays were set up. There were tons of people already gathered when we walked home about 2 p.m. Many were dressed in costumes or wore wigs or hats, witches hats were very popular. It reminded me of Halloween. Kind of Halloween meets the New Year. Another tradition I found interesting was if you desire to travel in the New Year, you walk around the block carrying a suitcase on New Years eve. Sister Sloan said there we lots of people on New Years Eve walking on her street with a suitcase in hand. Guess everyone wants to travel.

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