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The most important holidays in Ecuador during December are:


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PHOTO CREDIT: facundo luque

December 6: Spanish Foundation of San Francisco de Quito. The festivities include bullfights, parades and dances as well as the election of the Queen of the city of Quito. Despite being a criticized holiday, the city is full of dancing and excitement. In the same days took place the polemic “Feria Taurina Jesus del Gran Poder”.


December 8: Festivity of the Immaculate Conception and Carpuela in the Valley of Chota. You can enjoy a variety of dances and parties, Fireworks, food and liquor.


December 21: The Kayak Raymi is celebrated on December 21 of each year. It is an initiation festivity of teenager’s maturity. Amazon and Andean leaders or apuks also are remembered in this celebration. Kayak raymi festivity is the feast of masculinity and astronomically coincides with the summer solstice.


December 24: All Ecuador celebrates Christmas. The streets and churches have special decoration with Nativity scenes, lighting, ornaments, etc.


It is characteristic in Ecuador to celebrate this day the midnight mass or “ Misa de Gallo”, which is celebrated at midnight (or shortly after Christmas dinner). In this way people receives December 25 in the religious ceremony as a commemoration of the birth of the baby Jesus.


Carols, and the “ Pase del niño” ( religious procession ) thought representative streets and neighborhoods are also characteristic elements of this holiday. Pase del niño is a religious procession representing the characters of Christmas with tableau vivant. Joseph and Mary with the child in arms on a donkey pass trough the streets; the community with prayers and songs, accompanies them.


In addition, the nativity scene or so-called "nacimientos", are assembled in the majority of Ecuadorian homes, which are representations of the birth of Jesus. Around the nativity scene the family meets to pray the traditional novena before December 25.


In the city of Cuenca (Azuay) traveler baby Jesus, or “Nino viajero” procession is celebrated every year. The procession takes place around an image of Jesus child who took this name, traveler child, at the time of John XXIII Pope, who blessed it in Rome in 1961, and then it went to Bethlehem to be together with the Star of the Basilica of the Nativity, where it is argued that Jesus was born.


The procession annually brings together thousands of people, children dressed as shepherds, Angels, and foreman, who walk in the historic center of the city of cuenca, accompanying the Niño viajero.
The procession starts in the Ordóñez Lazo Avenue and runs along the calle Simón Bolívar, in the Center of the city.


December 31: is celebrated the end of the year. Typical activities of the date are the making of stick figures or dolls that represent the year that run out or a significant personality of the year. This rag doll is burned at midnight.


At the end of the year the wills of the old year are also read with humorous phrases and jokes. "Widows" that accompany the old year, are men dressed as women. They dance and make laugh the passerby, as well as masked, clowns, and more characters. Before midnight, parties are common. The party and dances culminate with the burning of the rag dog, fireworks and midnight dinners.


Every year In the cities of Quito and Guayaquil the contest of the best old year doll is organized. In the city of Quito the competition is done in the Av. Amazonas, from the Patria Street to the Colón Street. In the city of Guayaquil the contest occurs along the 6 de Marzo Steet and also in the Malecón Simón Bolívar.


Don’t forget

The majority of holidays in Ecuador are the result of the Christian colonization that modified the rituals and celebrations of the indigenous community. Andean and ancestral religion moved to the Catholic religion which until today is charged of syncretism with indigenous ancestral world and nature.


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In December Ecuador joins the Christmas festivities of the Western world, but also has other festivities that transform this month into a very special holiday.


The controversial Festival is celebrated on December 6: the foundation of Quito. This event is remembered in different ways in the city, also there is a great controversy around the famous bullfights “Jesus del Gran Poder”.


On December 31 all the Ecuador is full of rag dolls and celebrates the very singular and unique celebration of the old year, Año viejo.

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