I wish much happiness to everyone in 2014.
Año Viejo, literally “Old Year,” is a life-sized scarecrow, dressed in old clothes, stuffed with hay and sometimes fireworks, as well as thoughts and emotions that are so-last-year. Año Viejo was traditionally burnt at midnight on New Year’s eve.
Stuffing and outfitting an Año Viejo is a Colombian purifying ritual to chase away the negativity of the year ended. Its roots are likely found in European paganism.
This time of the year, if you drive through Colombia’s small towns, you are likely to see a few Año Viejos, stooped on stools, holding empty liquor bottles. However, due to the toxic mix of drunkenness and fires, it has become illegal to burn Año Viejos.
But people still do …