We're using the blog to share our adventures in Cuenca, Ecuador and beyond.
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Saturday, January 9, 2010
New Year Celebrations
We've had a wonderful time celebrating with friends these past few days.
New Year's is a fun time in Ecuador! One of the customs is to build (or buy) a 'dummy' to set on fire at midnight. The 'dummies' represent the old year.
These paper mache masks can be bought and added to the dummies. All kinds of faces to choose from.
Another custom is for folks to dress up as 'old widows', stop traffic and beg for coins.
Some of the costumes were hilarious! Boys and men had the best time, dressing as 'over-endowed' old women with pillows and balloons.
These darling young boys had the 'old lady, pathetic and helpless' speech down perfectly!
We joined friends for dinner on New Year's Eve for a whopping good time!
After the dinner, we walked around town to see more of the activities. These dummies were part of bigger displays...not sure, but we think they had local political meaning.
At midnight, the bonfires began! The streets were all ablaze with burning dummies and firecrackers, and the sky was lit up with about a zillion fireworks and rockets. Lots of friends and strangers hugging and kissing and having a ball!
Lots of dancing, too.
During our Sunday walk (now a tradition! with neighbors Chuck and Nancy), yet another parade was getting ready...
...and more dancing in the Square...
More adorable angels... the holiday celebration seems to go on through January, maybe into February (right up to Lent? Carnival?), so all the children can continue to wear their costumes. So cute!
Chuck and Nancy hosted a 'trailer trash' party on Jan 2. Here's Nancy, in costume...love her 'kewpie doll' hairdo~! She's holding a plate of 'scrambled dogs'...
Nancy had just finished demonstrating how to assemble... On the bun, add mustard and ketchup. Then add: hotdog, chili, onions, cole slaw and crumbled saltines. Actually, it's quite tasty!
Go to their blog at watsontravels.blogspot.com for more pictures of the event.
On the 'day of the Innocents', a bunch of us gathered at the adobe rental and watched the parade right outside the windows along Doce de Abril. Wow! Now, that was some parade! Bizarre, insane, hysterical, laugh-out-loud funny!, and some 'what the heck is THAT?!?'...everything goes... We saw: crazy wierd floats, historic costumes, including Crusaders, Romans, Southern Belles with lacy umbrellas, 50's rock/roll dancers/music..., belly dancers, rather strange (to us) political/religious statements/celebrations, including pregnant nuns and the "Pope mobile' and mining/oil/hazmat/death/vampire floats... and soooo much more!
We had heard the parade was featuring drag queens, a la San Francisco-style...but, either there weren't many in drag, or the costumes were really that good!
The crowds were tremendous along Av Solono, the most crowded we've seen here for an event. Our night pics aren't good, but here are some to give an idea:
These totems were huge!
Lots of stilts... these costumes had beautiful, flowing fabric wings...