A quemar el año viejo

In Colombia, as in other Latin American countries, there is a ritual at the stroke of midnight, between the sunset of the old year and the dawn of the new one, which consists in burning a muñeco - the symbol of the year which has come to an end - and, through the fire, "eliminating" the negative things that happened.
Therefore, the last days of December are spent to search for old trousers, t-shirts or shirts, sweatshirts and clothes that are no longer used, in order to dress the muñeco of the Old Year by stuffing it with sawdust, paper or any other material that can shape the cloths. Then it is put on a chair sitting in the doorway, in the garden or in the streets.

Here in the Peace Community of San Josè de Apartadò, during the days before the arrival of the new year, people rush to look for rags or anything else to shape the Old Year. Needless to say, this ritual was even more felt this year.
The last day of the year passed, while the Community was at work and the baptisms of some children were celebrated by Father Javier Giraldo (during this event too, it was possible to feel the complete dedication of these people to daily civil resistance, dignity, truth, and the ability to face every kind of difficulties by perceiving the light where the world often toils away to get out of the darkness), while the dominoes chips were shuffled to start a new game under the almond tree (excellent shelter from the sun), while Brigida cooked buñuelos in the wood oven of her house, while at the community restaurant the men prepared the pork carefully cut to be then cooked, while the sun slowly disappeared behind the mountains of the Colombian forest, leaving pink-orange trails in the sky. We were all waiting for the rapid arrival of midnight.
As long as the Old Year was brought to the center, the whole Community - each member at their own pace - was slowly preparing to gather around the muñeco, while a young man began to resound, from the speakers placed in the main kiosk, the countdown to finally start the quema del año viejo!
Among screams and smiles, the high flames lit up illuminating the faces of men, women, young people and children who, in the darkness of the humid midnight in the Colombian jungle, greeted this year and celebrated the arrival of the new one.
Always together, always in the Community.
As international volunteers coming from several European countries, we withdrew to observe what was happening, looking at each other's eyes and wishing ... a Happy 2021!
However, not all el año viejo got burned.
Because not everything of this old year had to be burned.
At least for them.
At least for me.
Good R-existence!