Holidays: Christmas and New Year’s in Quito
Christmas in Quito
After a hopefully successful year for all of you, it is time to find a relaxing end of 2015. Here in Quito we have our own traditions concerning holidays. The “Quiteños” – citizens of Quito – already at the beginning of December take time for their families, ceremonies and traditions. At this time the historic city center plays a major role since the churches and convents open their doors to let Quiteños and tourists explore the gorgeous interior designs. The smell of frankincense and candles can be noticed everywhere and in the old town Christmas music can be enjoyed.
On the 15th of December the Novene is heralded: Families and friends at nine days meet in different homes to pray and sing Christmas songs. This procedure prepares the faithful for the Christmas evening at which they should embosom the infant Jesus.
The Ecuadorian Christmas ceremonies and traditions highlight on the 24th of December. On this day the most important topic is the food and for dinner a huge turkey is served. After the gifts are unwrapped people attend the midnight mess at the church “Misa del Gallo”.
New Year´s Eve in Quito
On New Year´s Eve different rituals exist in town. One of it is the traditional burning of the so called “Monigotes” which are joke figures. Out of old clothes, wood and paperboard life size dolls are created that represent especially important, nice, bad or dead people of the past year. The most beautiful of those Monigotes which are burned at midnight get prices.
Like in Spain it is a further tradition to eat one grape at each of the twelve chimes at midnight. If you do not succeed to eat all twelve of them you will not be lucky the following year.
Moreover the Ecuadorians have a tactic to forecast the future: At midnight you have to smash an egg into a glass of water. The next morning the egg has a certain form due to which the future can be predicted.
If on New Year´s Eve you wear your underwear on back to front, the next year you will not lack new clothes.
Leaving the house with a suitcase and circling it guarantees plenty of journey in the following year.
Whatever tradition interests you the most and however you spend New Year´s Eve:
We wish you a Happy New Year!!