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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas in Argentina

Feliz Navidad!  (Merry Christmas)

This is the fifth installment of my Christmas series tradition.  This is the traditions of Argentina.

Christmas in Argentina
Source via 
Celebrating Christmas in Argentina has to do a lot with tradition and Catholic roots that still persist until today. Catholic influences are everywhere even though Argentina is a country influenced by immigrants, especially Italians and Germans who emigrated there after the Second World War.  When thinking of celebrating "la Navidad" in Argentina prepare yourself for blue skies, worm temperatures and a delightful breeze.

"Pólvora" at Midnight:  A Buenos Aires Christmas
In Buenos Aires especially, the scent of orange blossoms, jasmine, and honeysuckle is in the air, and lots of beautifully-colored flowers are everywhere at Christmas time.

Letter To Santa:
During Christmas in Argentina, children write a letter to Santa. I found this to be a unique tradition since in the majority of Latin American countries children write to el nino Dios or baby Jesus instead. I guess this stems from their European influence where writing to Santa is fairly common.

Letter to el nino dios ( Baby Jesus)
Source via ~ HM LaPlata

During the night of the 24th of December families gather at the grand parents home, including brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, etc. All to celebrate "La Navidad."

It is also common to see young people in their 20s, go out at midnight and come back home in early morning.

Foods for Celebrating Christmas in Argentina:

The families previously agree on the Christmas menu that traditionally requires each participant to bring a dish, a beverage or any part of the "cena de Navidad" - Christmas dinner.-

Since Christmas in Argentina happens during the summer time the climate calls for a Christmas menu with cold salads, beverages and dishes that make you feel refreshed.

Russian Salad
Source via ~//

The favorite cold salads are the Woldorf and the Russian. The main dish can be sweet and sour pig, chicken Provencal style, and "pesheto" or tongue, but the most traditional dish is grilled meat or "parrillada Argentina" as they call it.

Vitel Thone
Source via!__english
BBQ Meats
The "sidra" used in Argentina for Christmas has a very similar complexion to that of Spain. Argentineans also drink champagne.

Sidra (
Source via ~
The best time to drink "sidra" is right after being poured because it has this "sparkling" characteristic you don't want to loose.

In Argentina Christmas also includes delightful desserts like "turrones" - a type of candy- and "pan dulce" or sweet bread called "panetone" which has crystallized fruits and nuts, especially almonds.

Turrones (Nougat candy)
Source via ~ Google

Source via ~ Google Images

Celebrating Christmas in Argentina Must Include "Pólvora" and Presents!

At midnight on the 24 of December you can hear the explosions from the fireworks going on everywhere. "Quemar pólvora" - lighting fireworks, hugging and kissing family and friends, and opening presents that were placed under the Christmas tree is a must at midnight.

Quemar Polvora (Fireworks)
Source via ~

"Quemando Globos."  Another beautiful tradition is to light "globos." They are paper decorations you light inside and they take off into the sky. Argentinians do  it at night.
Globos (Paper Decorations)
Source via ~ Tony & Rosi
Today very few families go to church to share in the midnight mass. Even though Christmas is one of the top holidays in Argentina, it has become more of a commercial holiday than a religious one.

The old tradition was to hand make the presents but as Argentineans became more affluent they started to incorporate imported gifts. Argentina entered an economic recession in 2002 forcing many people to go back to their old traditions of low expenses and hand made presents at Christmas time.

Hispanic Christmas Decorations in Argentina:

In Argentina Christmas is an important holiday and this is evident in the decorations that every home displays. Wreaths in green, gold, red and white along Christmas trees decorate the living rooms.

Christmas Wreath

Pesebre ( Creche)

Papa Noel

Thanks so much for stopping by! It looks like I might have time for at least one more tradition before Christmas.


  1. These are all so interesting and informative Kris! Coming from So Cal, the Hispanic population there is very high so I knew a lot of Mexican's who also celebrated mainly on Christmas eve. The kids would stay up until midnight to open their presents.

    The BBQ meat looks so good!!! Looking forward to another installment:)

  2. I love it - so fantastic to get to know what other people do to celebrate. So much fun:)
    I'd adore spending Xmas at a HOT location one year - that would be something completely different, for a frozen Scandie like me :)
    Happy weekend dear Kris,

  3. So the BBQ meats...having one of those in the winter just sounds much more exciting, haha!! It would be fun to have Christmas somewhere like that!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend doll & it looks like we made it past the end of the world, haha!! Enjoy ;)

    Lots of love, Kizzy xox

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