Christmas in Ecuador was a unique combination of towns with Christmas trees made from plastic bags and string, lights flashing at various houses, and an overwhelming amount of animal crackers and candy erupting from stores and children’s’ hands.
Schools hold finals week intermingled with caroling competitions (villancicos are the traditional Christmas songs sung in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ and now include Spanish translations of Rudolph) and celebrations of Las Novenas. For nine days before Christmas, churchgoers sing and dance to the baby Jesus before attending mass. These dynamic presentations by clowns, shepherds, and other characters vary daily and take place on the streets of Quito or in the churches on the coast.
Christmas day itself is nothing particularly holy, unless one attends mass. Rather from Christmas Eve onward is comprised of dancing every night and eating plenty of sweets and animal crackers. Other gifts are not as common, yet most children seem to find sufficient entertainment from each other. Adults then truly prepare for their fiesta of drinking and dancing as New Years looms around the corner.Posted in News