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Fun Times In Jama!

Fun Times In Jama Ecuador!

Some people get all dressed up to welcome the new year!

P1410562 ano viejo jama fun smiles

Too Pretty To Be A Guy!

My all-time favorite holiday in Ecuador is not New Year’s Eve itself, but the preparation for New Year’s Eve, when people make or buy the papier mache ‘Los Anos Viejos’ and display them proudly outside their home or business. Richard, one of the staff members of the Portoviejo Museum,  starts making Ano Viejos in August and sells them at the end of each year. A few weeks ago I visited Richard’s home and received a sneak peek of his army of creations!

Richard & family at the Ivo Uquillos retrospective exhibit

Richard & family at the Ivo Uquillos retrospective exhibit

Let’s go see his workshop! (Hold your cursor over each image for more information, or click the baby in the hammock to start the slide show!)

The ‘Anos Viejos/Old Men” represent the old year, and at midnight, the effigies are burned.   The old year is burned away, and the new year is free from the old baggage!  ( Many people enjoy leaping over the burning effigies!)

Let’s go see what the creative people of Jama created last year! P1410403 closeup ano viejo P1410405 ano viejo smurfs P1410418 ano viejo jama recycling P1410422 ano viejo jama smiles P1410427 ano viejo jama P1410428 ano viejos jama P1410438 ano viejo y crutches P1410451 ano viejo P1410453 ano viejo jama P1410458 ano viejo jama P1410465 ano viejos P1410469 ano viejo nechanic jama Many people stuff firecrackers in their creations, so when they are burned at midnight, there’s a little extra drama! I always stop to visit my friends Chana and Arturo, who own a little corner store in town.  Chana shrugged when I asked to see her Ano Viejo.  She seemed to think she was unable to create one by herself. With a smile, I retorted, “Well, LET’S MAKE ONE!” “With what?” she replied. Here’s what we whipped up in an hour’s time!  (She, by the way, had a great time and insisted on creating its hat!) P1410540 ano viejo chana P1410551 ano viejo chana P1410558 ano viejo chana P1410569 ano viejos window chana P1410571 ano viejo chana window

On last year’s post,  Los Anos Viejos, Fran from Spain commented about his New Year’s Eve traditions;   he said, “ When in Spain, our main tradition is to have 12 grapes before it turns into midnight. If you want to start the year with happiness and you want luck, be with you, you have several requirements to fulfill: First you have to be with your right foot on the floor (the left one on the air), Second, you have to wear red underwear, and Third last but not least, eat those twelve grapes at the right time. Like this:”  (He gives a link to a video!)

00 ano viejooo0o In addition to the ano viejo effigies, another tradition in Ecuador is for the men to dress as a widow mourning her old man/old year.   They stand at the street corners and ask people for money, a token amount, which probably is spent later on cervesas!  A token quarter or dime pleases them!

Ano Viejo Fun - Jama, Ecuador / These great guys are normal all year until Ano Viejo rolls around!

Ano Viejo Fun – Jama, Ecuador / These great guys are normal all year until Ano Viejo rolls around!

Come Back Soon!

Come Back Soon!

Visit Jake’s Sunday Post for more samples of the New Year 2013.  Why not add a few new items to your new year’s traditions?   Buy some red underwear and a cluster of grapes!   Create a token ano viejo and be prepared to balance on one foot  or leap over the burning effigy!     Do you have any special new year’s traditions? Happy New Year! Lisa/Z