Even after 3 years here, it's hard to clearly explain the New Year's Eve traditions. Maybe the pictures will help. This is the hospital's version, although you can walk around Shell or any town on New Year's Eve and see even more elaborate examples. The old year is considered an old man. It is personified in a straw man that can take on virtually any character. Here is one from the hospital contest where each hospital department created an old man (the old year) and a widow (his wife after the new year arrives.)
Here is another example from the Maintenance Department of the hospital. The figure to the left is the old man's (or old year's) soon-to-be widow. Men dress up as the old year's widow and "beg" money from people driving and walking around. All in fun. The man on the right is reading the old year's will, leaving various things to different hospital employees.
Time for the bonfire. All the figures are added to the pile. The scrubs were saved. As Paul commented, there aren't many XL scrubs - no need to burn them!