Events in Ecuador, Festivals, Concerts
Carnival in Ecuador is celebrated in February or March each year and ends on Ash Wednesday. Ecuador has a very unique way of celebrating their carnival: they celebrate it by throwing water balloons, bags filled with flour, water weapons and anything that may make others look messy. Most people don't seem to like it but the children and teenagers love it. These water weapons and water balloons are sold all over the country before and during the carnival. Most tourists prefer to go to Ambato, where the Carnival is celebrated with colorful parades instead of the outrageous water throwing. Visitors should note that water-throwing is banned in Salinas.
Holy Week (Semana Santa)
This event is celebrated the week before Easter and starts on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos). There are some parades in the streets on Good Friday, especially in Quito. The Fanesca is a very important tradition during Holy week. The Fanesca is a traditional soup made with Bacalao (salt fish) and several different grains. The Catholics don’t eat meat during these days.
The Corpus Cristi celebration is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. This celebration is more popular in the highland regions and is celebrated in different ways according to the tradition of each town. For example, in most highland towns it involves costumes, music and dancing. While in Cotopaxi masked dancers dance through the streets carrying some 12 foot high greased poles. These have to be climbed by a brave man to obtain the prizes hanging on the top of it.
San Juan Bautista
This week-long festival is held each year on the 24th of June in the Otavalo Valley and is a very unique celebration. This celebration is held to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth), it involves local men – who dress up with varied costumes and start dancing from one house to another – until they reach the San Juan Chapel were they start throwing rocks at each other.
San Pedro and San Pablo
The San Pedro and San Pablo festivities are held on the 29th of June each year, though they actually start the night before with bonfires in the streets. Woman wanting to become pregnant jumping over it often jump over the fires.
As with all other places in the world, Christmas is celebrated in Ecuador. If you want the best and most original Christmas celebration, you should go to Cuenca on the 24th of December where the Pase Del Nino is held.
The Ecuadorians celebrate New Years Eve with the anos viejos (Old Years Eve). They have stuffed dummies, constructed with paper, sawdust, wood and firecrackers. They show these dummies to the whole country before they are burned.