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Customs and Traditions of Ecuador Carolina L. Espin, Anjudy P. Palma, Cristian W. Valencia Tourism and Hospitality Major- Eight Semester Technical University of Ambato

Ambato-Ecuador Av. Victor Hugo angiecpalma@gmail.com Alba Hernandez, Lic, Mg


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador

We human beings create culture. Our ways of thinking, feeling and acting, the language we speak, our beliefs, food and art, are some expressions of our culture. This set of knowledge and experiences is transmitted from generation to generation by different means. Children learn from adults and adults from the elderly. They learn from what they hear and what they read; they also learn from what they see and experience for themselves in everyday life. This is how traditions are inherited. Ecuador’s distinct culture is as vibrant and beautiful as the hand woven tapestries of its local artisans. Stemming from its long and rich history, Ecuadorian culture includes a fair mix of indigenous practices along with European colonial influence. Almost everyone in Ecuador has a mixed-race background, which has resulted in tremendous cultural diversity as well as unique customs and traditions across the whole country. (Adventure-life, 2018) Dwyer, (2016) Ecuadorian culture has distinct roots in its rich and multi-ethnic history with both indigenous and colonial influences. Many indigenous customs are only practiced by indigenous communities, whereas other customs have been adopted throughout Ecuadorian culture. Ecuadorians have a distinctive dress code that indicates the region that they come from. Their dress displays specific cultural diversities that are characteristic of that particular region. Also cooking traditions vary greatly by region: coastal dining often include fish and beans while Andean cuisine favors meat, rice, and hominy. Visitors to Ecuador can expect to find exotic fruits, savory seafood such as tangy lemon-marinated shrimp. (Castro, 2017) A variety of special dishes are prepared from fresh ingredients for ceremonial occasions by the woman of the house and her female maids. In the Sierra and parts of the Coast fanesca, a hearty soup that combines numerous beans, grains, and other vegetables cooked in fish broth, is served during Holy Week. Native people of Amazonia and the Sierra prepare chicha , a brew made from manioc and maize, respectively. This drink is served on all ceremonial occasions, but in Amazonia it also provides daily caloric intake. (Countries and their Cultures , 2014)


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador HOLIDAY TRADITIONS TO EMBRACE IN ECUADOR Ecuador is famous for its colorful festivals and every town in the country has their own traditional celebrations and events throughout the year. Old Year and New Year December 31st – January 1st In Ecuador, as in many other countries, the New Year is synonymous with leaving the past behind and embarking on a new beginning, there are many traditions that Ecuadorians keep alive to welcome a new year. One of the most striking is to burn stick figures also called monigotes. Immediately after December 25, it is customary to start making paper or cardboard dolls, sawdust, old clothes or any other material that can serve to develop our imagination. Another of the typical customs is to go out with a suitcase just at midnight and shop around the block. The goal of attracting trips in the coming year. (Rodríguez, 2012)

Carnival- February or March The carnival. It is an event, above all, cultural that is celebrated in style with water, foam carnival, flour or cornstarch, talc, etc. and in which the attendees disguise themselves with elaborate costumes or paint their faces with plant-type paints. In Ambato, known as the land of flowers and fruits, the cultural groups in which parades of floats decorated with flowers and fruits of the area are highlighted. (Gallegos, 2016) Easter – March or April Ecuadorians celebrate Easter and the with traditional religious church services and the famous Fanesca soup. Fanesca is a labor intensive, creamy soup that contains 12 different grains/vegetables to symbolize the disciples of bible stories. It is served with hard boiled eggs, salted cod, empanadas de viento and ripe plantains. Day of the Dead- November 2nd Specifically in Ecuador, the Day of the Dead is celebrated to honor the lives of loved ones who have left the underworld behind. The Ecuadorian drink par excellence of this day is the “Colada Morada” accompanied by the famous bread called “guaguas de pan”. In short,


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador flowers cover the graves of all Ecuadorian cemeteries on this day when the presence of deceased loved ones is longed for. The natives have the habit of taking the deceased's favorite food to the cemetery and eating it next to their grave. It is also common to wear black or dark purple clothes. (Gómez, 2015) Christmas Eve- December 25th Christmas is a very important time of the year throughout the Catholic and Christian world. This is especially important in a country like Ecuador, where the Catholic religion is of the utmost importance. Christmas is synonymous with reunion with loved ones and closest friends. It is a party where gifts are given and received, meetings and family meals where the main course is turkey and pristiños, assemble the Christmas tree adorned with colored lights and decorate the manger that represents the birth of Jesus. (Cabrera, 2016) CUSTOMS IN ECUADOR Allowing to Stiteler, (2014) mentions that Ecuador is a wonderful country because of its unique and incomparable customs that will be mentioned:

Meeting and Greeting 

The most common greeting is a handshake with direct eye contact and a smile.

While shaking hands, use the appropriate greeting for the time of day: "buenos dias"(good morning), "buenas tardes" (good afternoon), or "buenas noches" (good evening).

People that are close greet in a much more tactile manner; men embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (called an "abrazo"), and women kiss once on the right cheek.

Always refer to people by the appropriate honorific title (Senor or Senora) and their surname.

Gift Giving Etiquette


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador 

Ecuadorians give gifts for birthdays, Christmas or New Year, as well as religious events in a person’s life.

A young girl’s 15th birthday is considered a special date and is much celebrated.

If invited to an Ecuadorian home, bring flowers, good quality spirits, pastries, imported sweets for the hosts.

A bouquet of roses is always well received.

Gifts are generally opened when received.

Dining Etiquette 

Don’t discuss business at social events unless prompted to.

Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.

The host says "buen provecho" ("enjoy" or "have a good meal") as an invitation to start eating.

It is considered polite to leave a small amount of food on your plate when you have finished eating.

Expect lively conversation during the meal.

Wait for a toast to be made before taking the first sip of your drink.

The host makes the first toast. The most common toast is "Salud!"

If you do not want to drink more, leave your glass one-quarter full.

In conclusion, Ecuador is a country rich in diversity of customs and tradition thanks to its cultural wealth. The festivities are a key element which make this fabulous country into a especial dynamic place where food plays an essential role of celebration and union of to spend with your loves ones.


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador

References: Adventure-life. (28 de Enero de 2018). History and Culture of Ecuador. España. Betsy, M. (8 de Junio de 2014). Ecuatraveling. Obtenido de Ecuatraveling: https://www.ecuatraveling.com/8-holiday-traditions-to-embrace-in-ecuador/ Cabrera. (2016). Costumbres y Tradiciones de Ecuador. https://dialoguemos.ec/2017/11/las-costumbres-y-tradiciones-que-guardan-tributoa-la-memoria-de-los-ecuatorianos/. Carril, M. (2015). ACTUALIDAD VIAJES. Retrieved from https://www.actualidadviajes.com/costumbres-de-ecuador/ Castro, C. (15 de Mayo de 2017). Don Quijote. Obtenido de Don Quijote: https://www.donquijote.org/ecuatorian-culture/ Countries and their Cultures . (22 de Marzo de 2014). Culture of Ecuador. Ecuador. Gallegos. (2016). Ecuador y sus costumbres. http://www.forosecuador.ec/forum/ecuador/educación-y-ciencia/181620-23-costu. Gómez. (2015). Costumbres. https://www.viajejet.com/costumbres-y-tradiciones-ecuador/. Halberstadt, J. (2016). Export. Retrieved from https://www.export.gov/article?id=EcuadorCustoms-Regulations Helen, D. (16 de Octubre de 2016). Chimu Blog . Obtenido de Chimu Blog : https://www.chimuadventures.com/blog/2016/10/cultures-and-customs-ecuador/ Julian, A. (2018). Ecuadorian Gastronomy . Customs , 15-30 . León, A. (2015). Trajes tipicos. Retrieved from http://repositorio.ute.edu.ec/bitstream/123456789/4376/1/55422_1.pdf Morrill, D. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.beautyecuador.com/jacchigua-ecuadorianballet.html Muller, C. (2014). Travelstoke. Retrieved from https://matadornetwork.com/es/costumbresecuatorianas-que-desconciertan-los-extranjeros/ Parent, P. (2018). Retrieved from http://ecuadorresources.com/ecuador-customs/ Rodríguez. (2012). Costumbres. https://educarplus.com/2019/07/costumbres-y-tradicionesdel-ecuador.html.


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador Sรกnchez, E. (2018). Retrieved from https://naturegalapagos.com/es/blog/festividades-deecuador-top-7/ Stiteler, D. (2014). Award-Winning Culture Guides. Madrid: Commisceo Global Consultancy. Tirira, D. (2017). Terra . Obtenido de http://www.terraecuador.net/revista_25/25_mas_en_tradiciones.htm


Customs and traditions in the World/Ecuador

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