New Year Customs in Ecuador Out of the all the countries we get our products from, we think the prize for the most fun way of celebrating the start of a new year, must go to Ecuador. A New Year’s Eve tradition is for men to dress in drag.
It has to be done in a messy way: clowny looking make-up, cheap colourful wigs and, ideally, very hairy legs in miniskirts - luckily we found no photos of this. This dressing up represents the “widow” of the year that has passed. The “widows” then go to the streets and stop each car that comes along and then parody some sexy dancing. Large crowds gather around to watch and laugh at the entertainment and the drivers are forced to give the “widows” some coins in order to be allowed to drive along a particular street. There are also traditional family events and meals and modern celebrations such as hosting parties and going to nightclubs. People usually eat grapes and drink Champagne with close family members and friends. The main event takes place at midnight of course when fireworks are lit along with thousands of life-size effigies called “Año Viejo”. Nearly every family creates an effigy (A model of a person) from paper scraps, old clothes or buys one already made from ceramics.
They place them just outside the front of their home. The effigy represents things you disliked from the previous year and are made to look like famous celebrities, politicians, public servants, cartoons, etc. They have to burn right at midnight to shed the old year and represent a new beginning. Some of the braver Ecuadorians jump through or over these burning effigies 12 times to represent a wish for every month! Sounds like it would be fun to be in Ecuador at that time of the year!
Don’t forget to check out our great new jewellery range from Ecuador made from Tagua nut. The Tagua nut is a dried seed from the Tagua palm tree, which grows in tropical rainforests and makes beautiful jewellery.