Holidays!!

Holly Shankin - Ecuador


January 3, 2019

I want to make a blog post about the recent holidays that we have
celebrated here!!

For la Navidad we didn’t do anything during the day, and I mean until
probably 4 or 5 literally nothing happened. At 6 I went to my old host
family’s house and gave the two boys some toy cars and called my mom on
their patio as I waited about an hour to go to a neighbor’s house. There I
played with a baby and waited another hour to go to a party. From 8:30-11 I
watched some very drunk men speak English to me, I danced with them, and I
ate turkey, pork, and rice, out of a styrofoam container. At 10:30 I had to
go because this is when my current host family began dinner, and so they
started the gift exchange just for me. This meant a man standing on a
stage, trying to say some words about me, although he had never met me
before. He gave me a little shaw and ended up driving me home. I arrived in
the middle of dinner, ate exactly the same food again, and then my family
gave out our gifts for each other. A gift, a hug, and a picture. After this
they were like doing some errands, like dropping people off, and I went to
bed at about 2 am. This all happened on the 24th actually, on the 25th
slept in and then went to the park at 5pm. I on the other hand, went to a
waterfall 2.5 hours away with an English teacher and her family.

Though christmas wasn’t a very big deal the Año Viejo was. Here is a list
of traditions that Ecuador celebrates on the 31st.

Make or buy a “muñeca” meaning doll, that is really more like a
scarecrow. They can be all sizes but they usually stuff regular clothing
with newspapers or cloth and put a mask on it. Some people have huge
figures made to look like characters from movies, politicians, or friends.

Men, and boys, dress up with wigs, makeup, tight (and short) dresses,
usually using fake boobs and butts.

These men then go to popular intersections, use a rope to stop cars,
dance and holler or do whatever they want in front of your car until you
give them a nickel or a time.

There are some streets that are decorated with a very elaborate scene of
munecas, and full of these men dressed up as women taking up the entire
street.

Everyone has little fireworks that they throw everywhere

At 12 everyone puts their muencas into a pile in the street and lights
them on fire.

If you want good luck you are supposed to jump over the fire

If you want good luck regarding money you wear yellow undies

If you want good luck with love you wear red undies

If you want a year of peace and purity you can wear white undies (not
super common here)

If you want more good luck you eat 12 grapes at midnight

Oh and of course there are fireworks

Then, as in every Ecuadorian celebration, you dance (I know a few who
did not sleep until 11am the next day)

One tradition they do not celebrate, is the midnight kiss, I asked one
of my friends if that was a thing and he was very confused and asked me if
you kiss everybody

The next day (the 1st) we did literally nothing other than sleep and eat.

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<drive.google.com/file/d/1rOJ6rSQdAJ3kLH7FQ-GltRFSTBdJ3ndQhA/view?usp=drive_web>
Me and my host sister!

Holly Shankin