Ano Viejo

In Ecuador, the New Year, I can say has a lot more tradition and festivities wrapped up in it. It isn’t solely reserved for the night, it is being celebrated right now. Many fire works have been going off, people are dressed up with masks, and they are coming together for parties. As far as New Years Eve goes, there are thousands, probably millions, of  “monigotes” being sold all over streets. They are elaborately decorated and stuffed dummies, ranging from various sizes, which will then be burned all over the city tomorrow. Also, men dress up as women and go around begging for money, it is another tradition. According to our friend Jen, it looks like the entire city is on fire when everyone lights their dummies up. We have yet to acquire a monigote, but we will tomorrow. They range from super heroes, to political figures, to cartoons, etc. You can even assemble your own dummy, you can buy a dummy body and masks for them separately, all handmade, seemingly at least. And haha, I have to share this particular dummy lying across the street in our neighborhood.


Naomi says she wants to buy the one with “weiner” so she can burn it lol. I told her to stop being so sadistic.

Also saw these guys in the park assembling el diablo for a good burning tomorrow.



This guy was just walking up and down the sidewalk, he tried to pose for me, but as you can see, he was a bit unbalanced.

These are very small examples of all the dummies made, and is just across the street from our apartment.

Tomorrow I will make sure to take many photos of downtown. Hopefully we will be meeting up with my cousin who flew in with her husband!

(This is a link explaining the New Year in Ecuador)

2 thoughts on “Ano Viejo

    • Here is a good explanation for it! “The tradition of the “año viejo” (translated literally as old year) is a custom of symbolically ending the old year through the burning of “monigotes” or stuffed dummies, and all of the baggage associated with it.

      Though it has historical roots that extend as far back as the Roman Empire, Ecuador has a local antecedent from the 19th century when the act of burning images is thought to be more directly linked to an event in 1895.

      Following an epidemic of yellow fever that year in Guayaquil and throughout the coastal province of Guayas people created coffins, filled them with the clothes of their deceased and burned them as both a sanitary and symbolic expression of cleansing.

      With time, the coffins transformed to personalities and the tradition has grown to represent a broader purification of political and social ills as well as personal struggles.

      All week in the streets of Quito, and Guayaquil, años viejos are for sale and continue to sell into the evening.”


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