Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday traditions in Maltrata: New Year's

Leading up to New Year’s Eve, people display their “viejos” (literally – old men), a scarecrow-like figure that represents the end of the year. 
the viejo at the house

I saw one viejo holding a baby(doll), representing the New Year.

a viejo (representing the old year) holding a baby(doll)
(representing the new year)
The family came over for New Year’s Eve. They toasted to the viejo and then around 11 or 11:30 we went outside to sing the viejo song and then quemar el viejo (burn the viejo), representing the end of the old year so that the new year can begin. The viejo had firecrackers (fireworks?) mixed in with the stuffing, so they go off as it’s burning. 

getting the fire ready to burn the viejo

Here we were singing to the viejo: 

And here burning the viejo: 

At midnight we wished each other a Happy New Year with a hug and set off more fireworks.

Here are some of the fireworks:

Then we headed inside for a toast, dinner (including tamales - yum!), drinks, and dancing! 

New Year's dinner 

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