My 3 Favorite Ecuadorian traditions

Posted April 5, 2017 by Pamela Nicole in Discussions / 0 Comments


As of now, I’ve been two weeks in the US now, and I already kinda miss home. I miss some things, like you know, my bed. Others, not so much, like you know, the heat, and the march and april thunderstorms.

So, my sorta homesickness inspired this post.

1. Our arsonist New Year’s Eve ways

In other parts of the world, people cheer, congratulate each other, make festivals, and couples take the opportunity to kiss.

In Ecuador we watch with greedy eyes as we watch stuff explode.

It’s supposed to be a symbol of us getting rid of all of the bad stuff, literally burning them, and then again and again, and watching it slowly turn to ashes.

You know how some people burn the letters and pictures of love interests that have hurt them? This is ecuadorians’ way of getting over that specific year.

Some people make their own dummies, out of plywood and paper to burn. Others just buy them, since other people make a business out of selling dummies, each more elaborate than the last.

Image credit: Flickr

There really is no limit.

I’m not very fond of loud noises. And the burning of these poor dummies is quite loud. But I think I’ve never been able to bring myself to hate this tradition, simply because it’s ours.

For others…

New Year food: 

  • A nice dinner, turkey most likely.
  • 12 grapes
  • Alcohol


2. We like throwing water, paint, eggs, and other questionable susbtances at people’s faces

It really depends on where you are. In Guayaquil, it’s mainly water. People drag out their pools, children load their water guns, and the fun begins.

In other towns, people get really excited about the festivities and er… You just don’t want to be caught outside.

In Ambato, there’s a no water policy though.

And what’s this festivity I’m talking about? I’m talking about Carnival. Like in other countries, we get kind of wild with the partying, but the water thing is my favorite part. Going to the beach is difficult because everyone goes to the beach in Carnival, but getting a friend (with a pool in their house) to invite us over to play is the best.

Carnival food:

  • Everything. Easter is coming up and we go a week without eating any kind of meat except for seafood. It’s a rough week.

3. We’re so impatient we don’t open gifts on ‘Christmas’

I’ve seen the opposite is true mostly in countries like the US. In the movies I’d always seen people opened their presents on Christmas morning.

We don’t do that.

Which makes the whole Santa Claus thing a little harder to believe since opening presents at midnight, on Christmas’ Eve kind of butchers the poor old guy’s schedule, right?

And I’m glad we do it this way, because who wants to wait? We wait a whole year, dammit! I want those books!


4. All the Christmas’ dinners. All the food

If you’re a human in Ecuador, this is how it goes with dinners.

  • With your friends from high school
  • With your friends from college
  • With co workers (if applies)
  • With your other friends who won’t mingle with the other friends
  • Finally with your family

And you know what? I love that!

Christmas food:

  • Dinner with either turkey, or ham
  • Chocolate!
  • Relleno (Not a fave of mine, but a lot of people love it | a sweet mixture that has bread, raisins, apple, wine, nuts… and a whole other lot of things that drive people insane with craving|)


For an entire post on ecuadorian gastronomy, be my guest and drop by this post!


What is your favorite tradition from your country?

Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

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