Friday, 4 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

New Years' Eve

There are some very different ways that bringing in the new year is celebrated around the world; Ecuador is no different.
In the US, they watch the ball drop; in Scotland, a man walks in the new year with a lump of coal. What most of the celebrations have in common is that they show off with pyrotechnics.
In Ecuador, they use pyrotechnics and more. The use of rag dolls stuffed with pyrotechnics and in some cases rock salt (large chunks of it), as it adds to the noise when the effigy is stamped on and burned.
They start to make these effigies around Christmas; many families make them, but you can also buy one on the roadside.
In Ecuador, the use of pyrotechnics is in common use for just about any excuse for a party or a fiesta.
There are a few things here that I have not seen or heard about before, like the wearing of different colored underwear, yellow for money, pink for love, for example. At the stroke of midnight, if you are wanting to travel, you would pick up a suitcase and walk around your house. The eating of 12 grapes at midnight is to give you 12 months of good luck. When they burn the rag dolls, I am told that they place inside the doll lumps of rock salt, so it will explode when on the fire.
Walking down the malecon, I was interested to note that the crowd was a very jolly one and we did not see any rowdy or drunken behavior. There were families who had brought chairs and tables and set them down in the middle of the road, piles of rag dolls were waiting to be set on fire, vendors selling their wares, and music coming from every corner of the malecon.
Enjoy the images I was able to take and some video, also.  

This Month

January 4, 1790 - President George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address.
January 4, 1974 - President Richard Nixon rejected subpoenas from the Senate Watergate Committee seeking audio tapes and related documents.
Birthday - Louis Braille (1809-1852) was born in France. Blinded as a boy, he later invented a reading system for the blind using punch marks in paper.
Birthday - Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was born in New York. She became the first American Catholic Saint in 1975.