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In flaming tradition, Ecuadorians say goodbye to the old year with “Anos Viejos.”   From elaborate works of art to primitive attempts, these effigies often adorn front porches and doorways as the end of the year approaches.

 Sometimes stuffed with fireworks, the Anos Veijos honor the tradition of burning away the old year as the new one arrives.   Many times participants take turns leaping over the flames, though most wait until the fire is almost extinguished!

From scarecrow-type constructions to papier mache cartoons, political characters, musicians or names in the news,  Anos Viejos cover a wide variety of themes.                                     One common trait, a sense of humor, brings smiles to anyone who views these folk art creations.

One doesn’t have to live in Ecuador to enjoy the custom;   Roll up your sleeves and create a miniature Ano Viejo.   Say, “Adios,” to the old year and leap into 2012 in Latin tradition!

Feliz Ano!  May 2012 be good to you!      Z