Things to Do
(Aņo Nuevo) throughout the whole country. Almost of the celebrating
happens on the 31st of December when there are a number of interesting
traditions including Aņo Viejo (Old Year), the burning of a life-size
dummy, to leave the old year behind.
of February Carnaval is one
of the most fun celebrations of the year. It starts usually around
the second week of February by daily water throwing, which sometimes
can get out of hand. The celebrations end with big parties in almost
every corner of Ecuador during the last weekend in February. The
base of this event is more of less to go crazy before the restrictions
Semana Santa, or Holy Week in Ecuador is celebrated with
a procession, reinacting the crucafiction of Christ. These ceremonies
start with the ending of Lent (about 40 days from Ash Wednesday).
There is also a typical soup called Fanesca, with a base of dried
cod, and seven different types of grain.
24 Battle of Pichincha is
celebrated nationally as a flag-raising event. In 1822 General Sucre
marched on Quito with a mixed army of Argentine, Peruvian, Colombian
and Venezuelan Patriots. Attacking the Royalists, Sucre completed
his victory and captured Quito. This led to the independence of
24 The birthday of Simon Bolivar
is not one of the most important dates of the year but itīs celebrated
in all of Ecuador. Simon Bolivar was one of South America's
most valiant and well known generals. His victories over the
Spaniards gained independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador,
Peru, and Venezuela, a very well respected figure.
25 The founding of "Santiago
de Guayaquil" was finalized by Fracisco de Orellana
(who discovered the Amazon River) on this date in 1547. Guayaquil
having a very vivid nightlife, this evening is always justa little
independance of the Republic of Ecuador from Spain in 1822,
then becoming a part of "Gran Colombia" a federation made
of what are known today as Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. That
is why the flags of those three countries are so close.
two weeks of September The Fiesta
del Yamor takes place in Otavalo and attracts people from
all over the world and is filled with processions, music, dancing,
fireworks and the traditional crowning of the Reina de la Fiesta.
You can also experience many traditional dishes and drinks including
chicha, an alcoholic drink made of corn or yuca.
9 Independance of Guayaquil
was declared by the soldiers and the citizens of Guayaquil on this
day in 1820.
12 Known as the day Columbus first
landed in the Americas and "discovered" it, this
day is also recognized here as Dia de la Raza (or Race Day). This
day is to celebrate hispanic races of the world, celebrated in most
of Central and South America.
1 and 2 Dia de los Difuntos
(Day of the Dead) is a time of respecting and remembering the people,
especially family, who have passed away. Usually people go to visit
cemetaries and make bread people, or "guaguas de pan",
and a special blackberry-fruit drink called "colada morada".
This food was originally made to feed the dead, but now just made
as a traditional snack.
of Cuenca was declared on this day. This holiday is just
celebrated in Cuenca and the day is just filled with a little more
7 The Mama Negra celebration
in Latacunga is one of the biggest parties in Ecuador. This provincial
capital is filled with people, parades and colors. This party has
been described as the Mardi Gras of Ecuador, and it certainly earns
that title. The tradition says that before independance, Latacunga
was part of the Spanish Empire, in which the black servants revolted
against their white masters. Eventually they came to an agreement,
that they'd keep on working if the Spanish governor dressed up as
a black woman on Virgin's Day. Nowadays the mayor of the town dresses
up and the celebrations are wonderful.
6 The Independance Day of San Francisco
de Quito. The nightlife of the city is filled with vibes
and chivas (party buses) for this long weekend. There is also world
famous bullfights on the day of independance.
25 Christmas Day is pretty
quiet and, like in most places, it is spent with family. There is
usually a feast in the evening of the 25th and theopening of gifts
after the feast. More and more families are adapting to the North
American Christmas, focussing more of decorations, trees and gifts,
but it still is quite distinctive from their norhern neighbours.