Ecuador is a country that likes to keep its traditions alive, old and the new traditions are combined into big celebrations with entire families together, this is what’s most important for Ecuadorians, spend the important dates with the loved ones.
One of the main traditions is the burning of “Monigotes”, Monigotes are dolls made out of old clothes,and are filled with sawdust, newspaper, even firecrackers!
Each family, group of friends or even offices have a Monigote, representing the best and the worst of the year, and it’s lighted on fire at midnight. The doll is modeled after iconic characters of the year, politicians, sports players, friends, family and even enemies, inside the doll is placed a list is of all the bad things that happened through the year.
The “viudas” (widowers in English) are men dressed as the widowers of the “Old year” and ask money for his funeral, there is a show in streets and even on stages where the testament of the old year is read, the widowers cry and make jokes while the “Old year” is burned.
After the burn of the old year comes the new years eve dinner, families living in the biggest cities have adapted to contemporary customs, dinner usually includes baked turkey, and some local dishes like potatoes, rice with beans, and lentils, the last ones representing abundance.
Using yellow underwear to have fortune, run around the block with a suitcase to travel, eating a grape for every one of the 12 bell strokes of the clock, to have all wishes come true, these are just some of the small superstitions Ecuadorians believe to make the coming year a better year.