New Year's Day is the most "official" holiday in all of Ecuador. In the entire time I've been here there has never been a day when everything was closed but New Year's Day it was--everywhere. There was no gas delivery, garbage pickup, absolutely nothing that made any noise out there. No deliveries, no stores open, nothing. It was pretty amazing. I only mention the gas delivery and garbage pickup because those folks were out on Christmas Day but not on New Year's Day.
Of course the night before was a whole different story. New Year's Eve is a huge event here filled with symbolism and lots of parties.
What a lovely way to end the year--lots of celebrations with both friends and strangers, releasing what we wanted to leave behind from the year before, and also releasing one of God's creatures back into the wild--OK, he probably would have found his way out on his own but it was still nice to be able to help him along.
Happy New Year everyone!