Ecuador is a South American country with over 14.6 million people. Spanish is the official language. The majority of Ecuadorians are the mestizos, people of white and indigenous ancestory.They constitute about 65% of the population. The indigenous tribes (Indians) form 25% of the population and people of European descent (the Spanish and others) comprise about 7% of the population. The other minority are people of African descent who constitute about 3% of the population. Ecuador has about 40 indigenous languages, of which Quichua, spoken by the Incas is the most common. Other local languages include Huaorani, Cofan, Achuar, Siona, Tchatchilas, Canaris,Zaparo and Saraguro.The country is deeply Catholic, with over 95% of the population being Roman Catholics.However,most people will still cling to their ancestral religions and beliefs despite being Catholic.
The public holidays on the Ecuador Calendar are as follows:
New Year’s Day: The Ecuadorian New Year begins in 1 January. It is called Dia de Ano Nuevo in Spanish.
Maundy Thursday: The first Thursday before Good Friday is a holiday which is celebrated on the Christian calendar. Estimated date in March or April. It is called Viernes Santo.
Good Friday: The execution of Christ is commemorated on this day. Estimated date in March or April. It is called Viernes Santo in Spanish.
Workers Day: Workers movements hold rallies on this day to make petitions for improved pay and working conditions. It is held on 1 May. Known as Primero de Mayo or Dia del Trabajo in Spanish.
Battle of Pichincha: An annual commemoration of the 1822 battle of Pinchincha.Observed on 24 May. Known as Batalla del Pichincha in Spanish.
Independence of Quito: Every year on the 10th of August, Ecuadorians mark the Quito declaration of independence that took place in 1809.
Guayaquil Independence Day: On 9 October, the independence of Guayaquil which took place in 1820 is celebrated. The Spanish call it Independencia de Guayaquil.
All Souls Day: The 2nd of November is the Roman Catholic All Souls Day. Intercession prayers for those in purgatory are held. It is called Dia de Muertos in Spanish or Dia de los Fieles Difuntos.
Cuenca Independence Day: The independence of Cuenca was accomplished in 1820.The day is observed on 3 November. Also known as Independencia de Cuenca in Spanish.
Founding of Quito: This is an observation of the founding of Quito in 1534.The day of observance is 6 December every year.
Christmas Day: The Christmas holiday is known as Dia de Navidad and it takes place on 25 December. A day to celebrate Christ’s birth as well as meet with family.
New Year’s Eve: The last holiday of the Ecuador Calendar is Fin de Año.This is the pre-celebration of the New Year, the night before 1 November on the 31st of December.