One of my best friends in the entire world is Cesar. He doesn't like being put in the public eye, and the fact that he even let me take a picture of the two of us during his Colorado adventures recently is a breakthrough (sorry, Cesar, I know I didn't tell you I'd be putting it here, but, you know, it's relevant).
Cesar was telling me about a tradition in Colombia for New Years that I think will be very therapeutic and cathartic considering how absolutely rotten 2011 has been for me. The tradition?
Burn Año Nuevo: An effigy on the name of the Old Year is made, which is called as Año Nuevo. It is tied up with fireworks, and at the point of the clock ringing twelve, it is burnt. Also, people write their faults, or any feared bad luck on a piece of paper and throw it in the burning effigy. According to beliefs, doing so ensures liberty from all past troubles, sins, and mistakes, as well as bad luck.
Evidently, people build full-size effigies of themselves, dress them up in clothes from the year, and burn them in order to wish away the craptastic things that happened. There's even a business for making small versions of effigies that are safe to burn on a balcony or in city spaces, so I'm probably going to go this route. I had some clothes I was going to donate that I don't wear or don't fit, so perhaps I'll make a little Chavi out of newspaper and dress her up 2011 style.
Do you have any particularly interesting traditions for the Gregorian New Year?