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How To Celebrate New Year’s Like An Ecuadorian

Ecuadorians believe that New Year Eve signifies a way to let go of the old and welcome in the new- pretty standard right? Well, not quite.

Read on to discover all the awesomely unique ways that Ecuadorians attract prosperity and ring in the New Year.  Hey, maybe you’ll add something new to your pre-existing holiday traditions!

Prepared with pennies. In the neighborhoods people dress in costumes called the “viudas” or the widows. These viudas are all over the city usually in places with a lot of traffic, sometimes they hold ropes from one corner to another, only letting you pass if you give them some of your change, so make sure to have a pocketful if you’re out and about on the streets on Dec. 31st.new-years-ecuador-compasscultura-6

Clean House. Getting rid of old clothes, toys and other items helps set the stage in the Ecuadorian household for Dec. 31st. Clearing out all the old or unused items not only allows for them to be repurposed but clears out old energy making room for the new. Some even believe that all clothes must be washed in the house to start the new year off fresh and clean

Red Underwear; Yellow Underwear. Yes you read that right.  One Ecuadorian tradition revolves around buying yellow and red underwear. Yellow underwear brings prosperity while the red ensures love.

Get some grapes. Head to your local Mercado and grab a bunch of grapes. Make sure there are at least 12 as each will be used to make one wish when the clock strikes midnight.

money-shoesPut some money in a shoe. To attract wealth and prosperity in the New Year Ecuadorians make sure to put a bill inside a shoe. The bigger the bill the better. If you can’t put it in a shoe at least make sure you have some money in your pocket, as it’s believed that money attracts money.

Suitcase and a Chinese fire drill. Nothing spells out travel more to an Ecuadorian then running around your block at 12 o clock with suit case in hand. This is believed to ensure a year of travel and entertainment. Don’t feel like running around the block? You can also carry the luggage in and out of the front door 12 times.

Make a list. Take some time to sit down and reflect on the last year. Make sure to write down all the things that you don’t want in your life anymore. From bad moods, to sadness or frustration, whatever you are feeling write it down. You’ll need it for the last step!

Light it on Fire. As the clock strikes 12, Ecuadorians burn the “Monigote de Año Viejo” which represents the year that is passing away.  The Año Viejo is usually stuffed with paper on the inside (and sometimes fireworks!) and can have a painted paper mache like outside in the form of a ragdoll person or famous character like Spiderman. Grab the list of things you wrote down that you want to get rid and put it inside the Monigote de Año Viejo before lighting it on fire to say goodbye to the past and welcome in the New Year.

I hope this fun list gets you inspired to get involved, or least try, one of the options mentioned above. A special thanks to Karina Ambrosi for guiding me in creating this fun list. Happy New Year!

How are you celebrating New Years in Ecuador? Let us know in the comment section below

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