How Ecuadorians Celebrate Valentine’s Day

First I should note that this is purely my speculation, which most of you know, but since I get a lot of hits on the blog from people searching for “Ecuadorian Superstitions” I thought I should throw that disclaimer out there.

There are a lot of holidays in Ecuador. It seems hardly a month goes by without a parade or two. Many of the streets are named for dates, “10 de agosto” for example, and you can bet that if there is a street name then there was something important that happened on that day, and we will be celebrating it! I love holidays and reasons to celebrate so this always pleases me greatly.

Two holidays seem to be extra important here in Ecuador, more so than in other parts of the world. Of course when I say other parts of the world I mean the US, the only other country in which I have lived. Anyway, those two holidays are Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. The reason I know these two days are super important it the party that starts the night before each of these days. When I lived her in 2004, all the neighbors had parties the day before, starting around 7pm and going until forever. And when I say forever I mean 4 or 5am. That is some hard-core partying, especially for the day before the actual holiday. This year I was excited/nervous to see what Valentine’s Eve would bring.

When I put the kids to bed around 8:30pm on the 13th I heard a lot of male voices outside. I looked out the window and saw approximately 10 guys, probably in their 20s hanging around two cars parked across the street. They were talking loudly and I assumed they were on their way to party. As it turned out I was both right and wrong. They were already at their party. On the street. Starting around 10pm they started singing along to romantic songs they either brought or were being played on the radio. The group size varied throughout the night, having as few as 4 singers, and as many as 20 at some points. At one point a few gentlemen came to our gate and saw Aaron working in the front room and tried to convince him to come out. As he had been working 18 hour days for the past many days, he decided to stay and finish his work instead.

Meanwhile I covered my head with a pillow and wished for it to be morning already. The singing finally stopped around 4am, at which point I can only assume they were hoarse from their 6 hour concert. I have yet to ask my Ecuadorian friends why these dudes were all out singing, but my assumption is that were either mourning their single-hood or trying to attract mates by their karaoke skills. Either way, it was loud.

In future holiday news, only two days until Carnival, which here means a big water fight. With strangers. Who will pelt you with water balloons from moving cars. Or balconies. Or alleyways. Fun?!

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2 Responses to How Ecuadorians Celebrate Valentine’s Day

  1. Heidi Brower says:

    I loved Carnival! It was always a game to see who would get to the orphanages dry! Oh I miss that. Once I got his right on the booty- wearing khaki capris. Awesome. Those Ecuadorians really do know how to celebrate!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always wanted to see a Carnival. You have to report on that one. At least your Valentine’s Day sounds interesting — better than mine, which consisted of absolutely nothing!

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