Ecuador Christmas Time 2013…
Christmas is time to Make a Difference and Help the Public Schools here in Ecuador. In the past few weeks our intercultural family decided to celebrate the Holidays by given to the local community. Being a part of all these local festivities in such a short period of time has not only been incredibly fun but has also got me thinking about how important and rewarding is to get involve with the local community while living in Ecuador.
Celebrating Local Christmas traditions helps me keep grounded. Celebrating this traditional holiday brightens up my mood for weeks as I become absorbed in preparations for the event and the excitement of the day itself.
Traditional celebrations are some of the core aspects of any culture. Whether it is a wedding, a harvest festival, a religious holiday, or a national observance, our celebrations are woven tightly into our overall cultural identity.
When you move overseas, part of the excitement of living in a new culture is exploring and joining in the celebration of the local holidays and traditions of the country. Some of these experiences will provide memories that will last a lifetime.
Celebrating a special day can also help you connect with fellow compatriots in your area who can add to your mutual support group. When we host our last expats gathering, I meet a new couple who had just spent an exhausting couple of months going through the trials of getting settled into a new job, finding appropriate housing, and jumping through the usual bureaucratic hoops that accompany any move to a new country. They were extremely grateful for the chance to wind down, meet new friends and exchange tips on local life.
Experience Something Unique: Burning of the Año Viejo!
This is a unique experience that you will remember years later. We will celebrate New Year the Ecuadorian style, meaning we were off to burn the dummies! The origin of Año Viejo – made of paper mache and/or wood and sawdust – is a bit of a mystery. Dummies today take the form of political figures, super heroes, manga and anime characters, or famous movie characters. They range from doll size to absolutely, ridiculously huge. They are real works of art. When you burn the dummy at midnight you are burning away the bad things from the old year, then welcome 2014, and celebrate among firework explosions the rest of the night. It is an enormous, amazing conflagration of a fire ceremony.
So next time you see one of your traditional holidays approaching on the calendar, start planning. Invite your friends, involve the kids, and create your own lasting memories.
Here I share with you pictures of our visit to a Public Local School for a Christmas Celebration: