The Año Viejo is a fiery tradition that symbolically burns up the failures, regrets and anger of the old year in order to usher in the hopes and resolutions of the new one. On the last day of the year, people construct effigies that might represent an irritating person, a disliked political figure, or even disappointment about past mistakes or unachieved goals. A handwritten note is pinned to the dummy explaining why it must be burned and what changes and improvements are desired for the coming year. Then, to a chorus of cheers and clapping, the effigy is thrown into the street and burned to ashes. Some people stuff the año viejos with triquitraques (firecrackers) and watch the “man” explode.
So, say goodbye to the old as we usher in the new (although, please don’t catch on fire!). Happy New Year to all!