December 31, 2014
Cuenca, Ecuador – A Cuencan New Year’s
It’s just 9:00pm and we are back from downtown Cuenca with a quick NYE report.
First, it feels like there are more effigies out there than people! It’s just crazy, with a wonderful festive vibe – definitely not as creepy as we originally felt. Cuencans burn effigies to get rid of the bad from the old year so they can start fresh in the new. They might purchase a scarecrow kind of effigy and a unique mask to put on it or an effigy that looks like a superhero. Not entirely sure what it means to burn Captain America or a Minion or a Pokemon character, but they seem popular.
We watched as people put their effigies on the side of the road, lit them, took pictures, stood around and watched them slowly burn. Did I mention that many of them have fireworks in them? As the cars drive past on the cobblestone streets, the fire crackers start popping and hissing next to the cars. I admit to jumping a time or two myself!
A couple other interesting observations. People have been driving around town with effigies tied to the hood or roof of their cars all week. It’s fun to see Batman coming right at you. In quite a few spots entire tableaus made of effigies were going up. We assume they burn the whole thing but we went home too early to find out. Also, tonight brought out tons of young men dressed in drag all over town stopping vehicles and asking for change. It’s a bit Rocky Horror and definitely unusual, though harmless!
Okay! Everyone, have a fabulous New Years. Photo-time!