El Ano Viejo (the past year) is a colourful and unique celebration in Nicaragua. This tradition involves building a life-sized figure of an old man and sitting him in front of your house during the day. The figure is set on fire at midnight. The old man represents all of the negative things you want to leave behind in order to start the new year fresh with happiness and hope.

The figures are constructed with old clothes stuffed with newspaper or straw and sometimes even fire crackers. People write down or include a symbolic item of what they want to cast off before the new year. The figures are often seen with an empty beer bottle in hand.