Cuenca Ecuador Monigotes are everywhere! Each year on New Years Eve, Ecuadorians and people throughout Latin America burn monigotes in the street as a way of casting out the old and welcoming in the new. The word “monigote” literally translates to ragdoll, but a more accurate translation would be effigy. They’re also called Año Viejos, which translates to Old Year Things.
The monigotes are made of paper-mâché or fabric and usually filled with straw or sawdust. Some are also filled with firecrackers so when they’re burned, they make quite the show and they’re very noisy.
It’s common in Ecuador to put a mask on the monigote that looks like a specific person. Some people even print pictures of politicians or members of opposing soccer teams and affix them to the monigotes. I’m guessing a few bosses and ex-boyfriends or girlfriends also make their way onto a monigote or two. Our friend from Venezuela says, “That’s playing with voodoo, which is playing with fire!”
We’re looking forward to venturing out on Monday night (New Years Eve) to film the burning of the monigotes in El Centro. We’re not quite sure what to expect, but we’re guessing lots of people, fires and smoke. Stay tuned!
My family (JP’s) comes from Missouri, which is a southern state where Black Eyed Peas are considered good luck to eat on New Year’s Day. There are several theories/myths about this tradition dating back to The Civil War, and even though we’re not superstitious, it can’t hurt to eat some delicious Vegan Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day!
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