New Year’s Eve in Ecuador is one of the most popular celebrations in the country. It is a joyful time where families and friends gather together to spend the last hours of the year celebrating life.

To make sure that the new year will be a good one with love, health and prosperity, there are several rituals that you need to do before the clock strikes midnight.


Most Popular New Year’s Eve Traditions in Ecuador


Every December 31st, my family enjoys doing some of the New Year’s Eve cábalas just for fun. My children’s favorite traditions are running around the block with a suitcase at midnight. We also make our “año viejo” with cardboard, tissue paper and lots of fireworks. (Or we buy a piñata.)

anio viejo collage

These are some of the most popular cåbalas:

If you want to have a lot of money in the new year, you should do the following things before midnight:

Keep cash in your pockets.

Put a dollar bill under your left foot.


If you want to have good luck, then you should:

Wear yellow underwear.

And eat 12 grapes a little before midnight.


If you want to travel in the new year, you should:

Run around the block

with an empty suitcase at midnight.


Año Viejo

The most popular New Year’s Eve tradition in Ecuador is creating an “Año Viejo”, which is a large dummy that represents the year that is ending.

The “año viejo” or “el viejo” can be very elaborate like this one or more simple.

Año Viejos are filled with fireworks and are burned at midnight as a way to say good bye to all the hard things that happened to you and your family in the past year. Burning “año viejos” is not just fun but it is also a meaningful, personal moment. Some people cry. Others prefer to kick the viejo or jump over the ashes that the fire left.


The año viejo burning in the middle of the street

May your new year bring you

love, health and prosperity!



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