Out with the Old and in with the... Widows?
New Year's Eve is a major celebration in most places, but there are few places in the world better than Quito for seeing in the New Year.
As well as the usual drunken parties and huge firework displays, Quiteños have a few of their own particular traditions which make New Year's Eve in Quito just a bit different. For starters the whole city is thronged with gigantic dummies (like guys on Guy Fawkes Night but several metres high) which are paraded throught the streets and then set alight. Some of them are so big they burn for days.
And then there is the tradition of 'viudas' (widows) who are usually young men dressed up in mini-skirts, stockings and usually sporting enormous plastic... well, you probably get the idea. The dummies are meant to symbolise the old year, so that's why they are ritually burned. What the viudas are meant to signify is very much open to intrepretation.
Ecuador is usually quite a tranquil, even straight-laced country, so it's great to be in Quito on New Year's Eve to see everybody letting go!
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