Here’s a short video of Paul and my New Year’s revelry in Cuenca, Ecuador. Locals here celebrate with a unique tradition in which they burn life-sized dolls representing the old year in order to start the new year with a clean slate. These effigies are simply old clothes filled with sawdust, cardboard and newspaper and at midnight they drag them out to the streets, douse them with gasoline and the blazes begin.
Lots of neighborhood groups work together to build elaborate themed displays of these Old Men. We saw acerbic political commentary, clever takes on global warming, and other displays that were just plain absurd.
And since this is Latin America there were plenty of costumes, loud music, fireworks, dancing in the streets, food and good fun kept everyone entertained throughout the whole evening. An unusual but amusing way to ring in the New Year!