With 2021 upon us, people across the world will be celebrating and welcoming a fresh start to their lives in their own distinct way. Every Latino country has traditions and rituals it keeps when ringing in the New Year.
How many of you are planning to run around your block with a suitcase in hopes that 2021 will bring you opportunities to travel? How many out there are going to be sporting some colorful underwear tonight to bring you good fortune and love? Make sure you have plenty of fruit in your refrigerator if you plan on eating 12 grapes and making 12 wishes at midnight.
One of the most interesting traditions is what some people in Latin countries call “Año Viejo,” which translates to “Old Year.” This is where people create dolls or figures out of paper or cloth and light them on fire to burn away all the negative energy associated with the year that is about to end. The puppets can be generic in nature and don’t have to represent anyone specific, but sometimes Latinos will create these characters to depict politicians or celebrities.
Everyone’s “Año Viejo” is different depending on what region they come from. For example, people in Ecuador fill old clothes with sawdust and shape them into a human figure to burn. Some create masks for their flammable characters.
Since we’re only hours away from the New Year, people are sharing photos online of the “Año Viejo” dolls they have created for tonight’s festivities. Below are some of our favorites. Also, it’s probably a good time to say that no one should be starting fires in their backyard tonight. Be safe, everyone. Eat some grapes instead.
Javi Beaumont from Veracruz, Mexico, has his bearded paper man ready to set ablaze. Hopefully, that’s not a lighter in his adorable baby’s hands.
A news station in Honduras shares a photo of one of its citizen’s dolls. This one is an old man laying in a bed with Death standing over him. Death has a sign that says COVID-19.
Alexander Segovia from Guayaquil, Ecuador, took a photo of his neighbor’s “Año Viejo,” which looks like a Dragonball Z-type character.
Diego Báez in Bogotá, Colombia, is all set with his “Año Viejo.” Hopefully, that’s not supposed to be a depiction of his ex-wife. Also, hopefully, that grass behind him isn’t dry. “Thank God For Fire Extinguishers.”
A news station in Nicaragua is sharing photos of their country’s “Año Viejo” dolls. Those dummies look very comfortable. Too bad they don’t know what’s coming.
Rosemberg Arteta Barranquilla, Colombia, shares a photo of a doll wearing a face mask and shirt that says COVID-19.
A newspaper in Santa Marta, Colombia, shows Twitter users a photo of someone preparing his doll with dress clothes and a big head shaped like the coronavirus.
These little paper dolls look like characters from an animated film about trolls. They will be going up in flames later tonight.
Ernesto Leo Aguilar of Guayaquil, Ecuador, impresses everyone with a figure of late footballer Diego Maradona.
Finally, @rich94920 from Ecuador has been holding onto this piñata for four years and hopes to turn all of Donald Trump’s bad juju into ashes when the clock strikes midnight.