Feliz Año Nuevo Veracruz Style!

This is it my friends, we made it to the end of 2012! This year has been full of several joyful moments that I shared with many of you, and for that I will be forever grateful. 

I also thank you for letting me be part of  your especial moments through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets. 

On this last post of the year, I would like to share how the New Year's Eve is celebrated in my native town of Veracruz, Mexico. As many of you know, Veracruzanos (people from Veracruz) are very pachangueros (festive) and escandalosos (loud), and we just cannot end the year quietly. 

In many cities in the state of Veracruz, a group of people gather on the streets with guitars, maracas, and drums; and one person dresses as an old man representing the year that it's about to end. We call it "El Viejo," the "Old Man." Then, the "comparsa" (the group of people accompanying El Viejo) start singing a traditional song that goes similar to this:

Una limosna para este pobre viejo, una limosna para este pobre viejo
Que ha dejado hijo, que ha dejado hijo; para el año nuevo, para el año nuevo

Ya se vá el viejo muriéndose de risa, ya se vá el viejo muriéndose de risa
Porque ha media noche, porque ha media noche; lo vuelven ceniza, lo vuelven ceniza  

Give this poor old man a hand out, give this poor old man a hand out;
Because he has left a child, because he has left a child, for the year to come.

The old man is leaving while laughing to death, the old man is leaving while laughing to death
Because at midnight, because at midnight; they are turning him into ashes, they are turning him into ashes.

It's important to remember that every time we talk about El Viejo in the lyrics, we are referring to the old year, and the child well, it's the New Year. 

After all that singing and dancing, right at midnight, we take an old raggedy human size doll and we burn it, symbolizing the burning of the old year. We burn our sorrows, and bad moments with it. That's why on the lyrics it says that the old man is laughing because he knows that at midnight he will burn down to ashes.

And now, for your enjoyment, here are two sample videos of how "Veracruzanos" will be celebrating tonight. On the first video, El Viejo is dancing at the very famous Cafe de La Parroquia, and on the second, professional musicians are playing in downtown Veracruz for the people to enjoy and dance with El Viejo.

Have fun tonight dear readers, be safe and...