Christmas Traditions in Argentina

The carolers are singing, the halls are decked - Christmas is nearly here. And one of the best things about Christmas is the different traditions people have. Everyone celebrates in their own way. Well, if you've ever wondered how they celebrate in Argentina, the home of pampeano, then wonder no more: read on to find out all about the special Christmas traditions they have in Argentina.
Like all celebrations all around the world, the food is a big part of it. Traditional foods at Christmas include Pianonos (savoury swiss rolls), Vitel Toné (veal with tuna sauce), and Pan Dulce (a type of panettone), and often a traditional Argentine Asado (a barbeque) for the main event. Rather than on Christmas Day, the main meal in Argentina is celebrated on Christmas Eve. We actually recently did a whole blog post all about the Christmas food of Argentina, so do have a read if you'd like to find out more.
Christmas tree with decorations
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day aren't the only special days that are celebrated in the Argentine festive period: there's the 8th December, a religious celebration marking Jesus' immaculate conception, and the 6th January: Día de Reyes, marking when the Three Kings arrived to see the baby Jesus. This is another traditional family celebration, with children leaving out shoes, as well as grass and water for the camel, horse and elephant that the Kings ride - overnight, the Kings will come and fill the shoes with gifts. On the day itself, families will gather and eat a Rosca de Reyes, a ring cake, and put the Christmas decorations away.
While in the UK fireworks are usually only seen on Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve and Diwali, in Argentina firework displays are very common on Christmas Eve, as the clock strikes midnight. This is one tradition that you have to be careful if you'd like to recreate it in the UK: it's actually illegal to set off fireworks after 11pm on most days of the year, including Christmas. In Argentina, families will often watch the fireworks from their own homes, their gardens, or sometimes gather in their towns or cities to see large displays together.
One tradition that isn't often seen in the Northern Hemisphere is going to the beach! Christmas takes place in summer in Argentina, so it's the perfect time for families to spend time sunbathing and swimming at their local beach. Some people even take a barbeque and have their Christmas dinner asado on the sand.
Just like most of the western world, the world of shopping is transformed during the Christmas period. Christmas trees, decorations, and Santa's Grottos spring up all over the shopping centres, malls, and markets of Argentina. Speaking of shopping, while our website is not decorated for Christmas, we have a broad range of genuine luxury Argentine leather accessories that make great Christmas gifts - take a look around for yourself. Anyway, back to Argentina. The people of Argentina decorate their own homes, too, with wreaths, trees, and colours of Christmas. Being a very religious country, most homes will also contain a nativity scene near the tree. People will often use cotton balls, too, to recreate the snow of the Northern Hemisphere.
One beautiful tradition is the lighting of the globos - paper lanterns that are released by families on Christmas Eve. People make a wish, or set an intention, a bit like a New Year's resolution, for the year ahead, and as they watch their lantern rise into the sky, they are filled with hope for the future. This, along with the fireworks, makes the night sky on Christmas Eve in Argentina a very stunning sight!
Paper lanterns
We hope you have enjoyed learning about a few of the Christmas traditions in Argentina - perhaps you will be inspired to bring some of these traditions into your own home this Christmas, it might even tempt you to a seasonal special 'Navidad' polo belt or collar for this holiday.