As I understand it we should be in for quite a show tonight while we celebrate New Years Eve here in Salinas.
In Salinas the New Year eve tradition starts with “Ano Viejo” meaning old year. This tradition requires the releasing of all the past years good and evil spirits by destroying and then burning “Munecos” which can be a home made effigy or one of the thousands of paper mache figures offered for sale on the streets (check photo’s). The “Munecos” which can be anywhere from one to twelve feet tall are proudly paraded around (often tied to vehicles) and then at 11:30 pm all the years frustrations are released by destroying your Muneco by any method you choose thus releasing your yearly frustrations and new hopes for the coming year.
The broken Muneco’s are then thrown into any one of the many fires set on the beach. In addition to the burning Muneco’s, fireworks which are available everywhere are randomly thrown into the fire to explode at will. In addition, fireworks are set off everywhere else including the beach, roads, vehicles, apartments, etc. No firework permit needed here, no government control, just random fireworks and explosions that start from twilight until people run out of fireworks, booze and/or stamina.
The Salinas New Year is purported to be an amazing if somewhat dangerous experience for those braving the beach. We will be watching the festivities from the safety of our hotel balcony and close by beach. I will update you with my thoughts on the evening tomorrow. Until then I would like to wish all my friends and family all the very best in the New Year and Felix Ano Nuevo to all and best wishes for the upcoming year.
Happy New Year!