Burning el ano viejo.
“El ano viejo” means “the old year” in Spanish. When my mother was young, her family would partake in this tradition of burning the troubles of the old year. This wasn’t something I did as a child, but I brought it back to the family last year. We continued it this year. How does it work? First, you need to make a dummy. I just grab old clothes and stuff it with newspaper. Once the dummy is made, everyone gets a piece of paper and has to write all of the things from the past year that they’d like to forget or say goodbye to. That paper is folded up and shoved inside of the dummy. Then, he sits in the fire pit. At midnight, he is lit on fire and everyone watches as their worries and stresses burn away. Just one of the many Gonzalez family traditions that occur at midnight.