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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Years Eve - 2013

As with many things, New Years Eve is celebrated quite differently here than back home.  Immediately following Christmas, vendors stake their space to sell 'Monegotes' otherwise known as 'Ano Viejos' (old year) all around the city.   They are, in most cases, life-sized dummies dressed up in clothes and stuffed with newspaper, cardboard, or whatever is around that will burn.  The idea is they represent the year ending and by burning them at midnight, the bad is goes away and brings in the good for the new year.   Some are headless, some are adorned with masks to represent someone (usually political figures) while some are elaborately made of paper mache and represent well-known characters such as Homer Simpson, Hulk, or Daffy Duck.

Myself, I take a magic marker and write names of people and/or institutions (sometimes in strategic places on the 'body') that I'd like to see 'BURN IN H___'.   Last year I enjoyed watching a female monegote that represented a female manipulative, ethic-less, attorney who sued me and lied in court which caused a judgement against me.....go up in flames.   I hope she burned in special parts that night.  

This year, I burned the likes of the IRS, a bank, and an area I used to live in that had rotten, mean-spirited, selfish neighbors who ruined my waterfront dream home living.  I also reserved one of the monegotes to send hugs and love to those I miss very much but have departed this world....both humans and animals.

I went to my favorite location to buy my dummies.  It was getting close to dark and they were marking them down to the point I got 3 for $3 each!!!  9 bucks!!  I mean, some of these dummies had NICE clothes on!!!  You hate to burn them!  I almost thought of asking for a dummy with a size 32 waist (ahem...cough, cough) jeans on it just to get the jeans!!   Amidst all the dummies were also stands selling fireworks.

I decided to go to a bar in El Centro about 10:30.  I was the only customer there.  They said people usually don't come til 11pm or after.  So, I waited.   I left at 11:30pm as there was only THREE of us in the entire bar.  I was surprised walking down the street that nearly everything was closed.  It was deader than a doornail.  I guess big NYE party bashes are not a big thing here.  It was all about neighborhood gatherings and burning the effigies at midnight and LOTS of fireworks popping off all over the city like Mexican jumping beans.

Oh, and the other tradition is the 'ugly widows'...men dressed up in (bad) drag, stopping cars in the streets and asking for a donation which (supposedly) goes to a foundation supporting poor children.  They team up with friends and occupy both sides of the street.  When a car comes along, they pull a rope taut so it creates a barrier that the car can't get by.   The 'ugly widows' usually prance about and pose for snapshots then approach the drivers' window for a donation.  For the most part, everyone is pretty good-hearted about it.  I pre-loaded my car with coins and drove around the city.  I was stopped probably 15 times.  My camera was ready and so were they.

Enjoy the photos!!


Clearly this neighborhood was planning to party!!

A popular thing to do....strap your monegote to your car and drive around the city to show it off.  

Vendor stands line Ave Americas selling monegotes and fireworks.

Incredible Hulk was popular this year.

They're gonna burn Uncle Sam?

Notice the size of it in relation to the person walking by.

Cute idea.

An 'ugly widow'

Bart, Homer, and Mickey always seem to appear every year.

A VERY ugly widow!!!

Some add monegotes to the front grill of the car as if they got run over, this one is being dragged behind his car!

They sure seem to be having fun in their dresses, boobs, and wigs.  Hmmmmm.

The cremated remains.

A country-style ugly widow.

'She' did cartwheels in the street.

Masks you can buy to add to your monegote.

School children?

Fireworks for sale.

Awwwwww.  Who'd want to burn this guy?

My 3, three-dollar monegotes.

Beautiful storm cloud appeared as the sun set.
Even the Bomberos (Fire Dept) got in the spirit and created this scene of a rescue effort underway.  See the fireman on the balcony (upper left)  in red jumpsuit, and patient being lifted on a stretcher.  All this was in the middle of the street in front of a fire station in El Centro,.

My burning.

Only a few of you will know what this means.

Burn baby.....BURN!!!!

And now, a word from our Sponsor (...that would be ME)

1 comment:

  1. I got such enjoyment burning our effigy this year. It really is cathartic. Now if only I didn't have to see the bastard in town all would be well in the world.


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This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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