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Christmas in Argentina

December 16, 2011 1 Comment »

Despite it being in the heat of summer, Christmas in isn’t as different as you would think. With a strong European influence, Christmas in is much more similar to Europe and North America than other countries in South America. However, with over 90% of the population identifying themselves as Roman Catholics, some local traditions have remained strong which makes this holiday a special time down there.

From my experience when living in Buenos Aires, I sensed that over the years Christmas changed and moved away from a strictly religious event. Some criticize the evolution of Christmas in Argentina for becoming too commercial and losing sight of religion, more so than neighboring countries, all of them with strong Iberian Catholic roots. It can be debated but what remains important is the connection to family and friends during this popular holiday. Christmas is very important to devout Catholics, but for everyone it is a family affair. The most important day is Christmas Eve when Argentine families get together for dinner and start these celebrations.

Like most other South American countries, fireworks are a central focus of this celebration. Children gather to light them, although they entertain all ages and can be heard until the dawn of Christmas Day. One of the more unique traditions of Christmas in Argentina is the globos. Similar to those found in Asian cultures, these paper balloons are lit from within and then float upwards creating a beautiful night sky.

Dinner on Christmas Day is a bit different and you can see a few dishes that may not be on your Christmas dinner table. With such warm weather, parrillas or barbecues are an institution in Argentine culture and it is very common to see barbecues as part of the festivities. The traditional Argentine Christmas dinner is served in the garden area and the delicacies may also include roasted pork, stuffed tomatoes, mince pies, Christmas’s bread and pudding.

All in all, celebrating Christmas is a grand occasion in Argentina.

One Response to “Christmas in Argentina”

  • Danny Trejo
    Commented on December 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Interesting. I didn’t even realize that it would be summer there. OMG SO CRAZY!