Monday, January 01, 2007

Feliz New Year!

I just got back from a fantastic weekend at Caro´s family farm. Since my head is still cloudy from staying up until three in the morning drinking rum with Caro´s brothers and cousin, I´ll let the pictures do the talking.

The view:

The house and the bathroom:

The party:

We ate meat, we danced, we drank, we had a blast. I participated in a couple Colombian traditions. On New Year´s, people release giant, lit paper balloons into the sky. They´re like mini hot air balloons, powered by lighting a rag soaked in kerosene on fire. So, yes, a potential fire hazard, but fun. At midnight, everyone runs around the house carrying luggage for good luck, so I did that, too. One tradition that we skipped was burning a huge scarecrow-like doll, although we drove by hundreds of them for sale on the side of the road.

Tomorrow, Caro, her sister, and I are going to spend a week at her brother´s eco-resort on the Pacific coast. From what I´ve been told, it´s a very undevelopled and very beautiful part of the country, home of the Embera Indians (Native Colombians?). No electricity, no telephone, no internet. Hence, no updates for a while. Happy 2007!


carmen said...

wow!! looks like you are having a great time. you will have to explain the scarecrow guys...why do they do that?? be safe and continue to have fun!!

jenny said...

LOVE the pics!! Happy new year!!

Mrs. V said...

What is the tradition of burning this scarecrow man, it kinda looks like a gringo, I hope not?
Thanks for the updates, I am loving it.
You go, girl!!!

Frances said...

I found the tradition of burning the Scarecrow in Colombia.


Burning "Mr. Old Year" is a New Year's tradition in some cities of Colombia. It requires the participation of the entire family. It is a lot of fun; they fabricate a big stuffed male doll that represents the old year. Then they stuff the doll with different materials. Sometimes they put some little fireworks in it to make it more exciting at the time they burn it. Also, they put things inside that they don't want anymore, objects that can bring sadness or bad memories. These things will burn with the old year, meaning that they want to forget all the bad things that happened during the past year. They dress the man with old clothes from each member of the family. Then, on New Year's Eve at midnight, they set the doll on fire. This symbolizes burning the past and getting ready to start a happy New Year without bad memories of the past."

Link to

eileen said...

Nice job with the scarecrow info, Frances!

LisaKate said...

I love that it is a stuffed MALE to represent the bad year...why is that?! hmmmmm.
Welcome back to the States!!