& New Year in
in Ecuador is
highly commercialised in the big cities, with xmas decorations in
evidence from October onwards and festive music in the shops.
However, in remote rural areas
can almost escape Christmas altogether if you wish to, or at least have
a peaceful Christmas holiday without all the hype and shopping.
is an important
religious festival in this predominantly Catholic country.
Ask around for details of Christmas services if you
would like to attend the local church nativity mass or the "novena"
with carols and readings in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
homes in Ecuador will have a nativity scene with little models of the
Christmas story at this time of year and roadside stalls sell the
little figures and artificial moss needed for the creation of these
festive scenarios, along with tinsel, lights, baubles and wrapping
paper. Nativity scenes and
other Christmas decorations can be bought all year round in
Christmas traditions include eating Christmas dinner at
midnight on Christmas Eve, with the result that much of Christmas Day
itself is spent recovering from eating Christmas dinner at midnight...
There is a good chance of a sunny Christmas even in the
highlands of Ecuador. Xmas on the beach, enjoying
the warm weather and the fresh mangos that are in season in December,
makes a pleasant change for the holiday season.
and biscuits are
given in huge
quantities in Ecuador at Christmas and seem to take up most of the
supermarkets during the holiday season. Although Christmas
presents are exchanged they are usually token gifts rather
extravagantly expensive purchases.
Year in Ecuador is as
much about the Old Year as the new. Effigies are made of old
clothes stuffed with newspaper and adorned with a mask. These
are known as the "Año Viejos" or Old Years, and are burnt at
midnight on New Year's Eve. The idea is to leave
any negativity or problems behind in the old year and start afresh.
A list of problems and worries may be written and put inside
the effigy to be burnt. Those who want to travel in the year
to come might jump over the burning old year carrying a suitcase or
rucksack. Fireworks are set off at midnight too, so even if
don't find a new year party to attend, you will still see plenty of
celebrations. In Quito, from a reasonably high vantage point,
you can expect to be watching several dozen firework displays
simultaneously, with almost continuous fireworks from around 11.30pm to
Year celebrations are
often private family affairs, but look out for Old Year models sitting
around in the street with attendants collecting money for fireworks and
you may find a more public New Year event. Ask at your hotel
about any local new year celebrations. The little town of
Atuntaqui, for example, near to Ibarra in Imbabura Province, has a New
Year parade with extravagant costumes.
Quito, Christmas is
assumed to start pretty much straight after the Fiestas
de Quito (6th
December) and continue until after New Year, with the result that
no-one does much work for several weeks. If you're
visiting for your Christmas holidays, this is rather fun, but business
travellers should not expect to achieve much business in Quito during
& New Year in Ecuador
Christmas holidays in Ecuador, nativity scenes & church
services, Christmas traditions and Xmas dinner. Escape
Christmas in rural Ecuador, avoid the Christmas hype away from the big
in Ecuador, old year effigies and new year traditions, parades and New