Año Viejo - Out With the Old and In With the New

December 18, 2019

Año Viejo - Out With the Old and In With the New | Amano Artisans

In many Latin American countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with the burning of the Año Viejo, or “Old Year.” Masks are made to represent the old year in the form of cartoon characters, historical figures, political figures, or just random faces. They are then placed on “dolls” made out of old clothing and stuffed with newspaper or sawdust, and often with fireworks. At midnight, the Año Viejo is set on fire, and the more daring folks run and jump through the flames to ward off bad luck in the coming new year.  *Don't try this at home

New Year’s Eve in Colombia is a time for family and tradition. Along with the “burning of the old man,” or Año Viejo, there is also the eating of twelve grapes at midnight—one for good luck in each month of the coming year. Changing into yellow underwear at midnight to bring good fortune and running around the house or the block with an empty suitcase, to signify that in the new year, there will be many voyages. 

New Year’s Eve is a time for nostalgia. It’s a time for remembering the past and looking to the future. I remember, as a child, burning the Año Viejo. Eating grapes at midnight. Running around the house with a suitcase, excited for the voyages that the new year would bring. When I was a child, I loved the tradition, but I didn’t always grasp the significance. Now, with the wisdom of years behind me, I understand the importance behind the traditions, …and it makes the celebration that much sweeter. I am excited to share one of my favorite and most loved traditions with you this year…and I hope you will join me in “burning the Año Viejo!”


Guaitapuro is the name of a legendary indigenous figure who lived in the highlands of the Andes Mountains. During the last week of the year, he would build a campfire around his family, and each member of the family would throw a stone at the campfire. If the stone clicked in the fire, it meant that the universe and the gods had heard the wish the person had asked for, and it would be granted in the coming year. 

Amano Artisans is proud to bring this tradition to our friends here in the United States. We now carry the Guaitapuro dolls, allowing you to “burn the Año Viejo” and bring a bit of Colombia into the new year. 

Our Guaitapuro dolls are available in a boy or a girl version, and each is individually crafted and unique. There are no fireworks contained in our Guaitapuro dolls, and each one comes in a special box that allows you to burn it safely on a hard, open surface. Measuring 6” x 4,” these dolls are a little bit of tradition brought to you straight from the heart of Colombia. 

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