For those coming from the Northern Hemisphere to Argentina over December holidays, the warm weather might be quite a shock! Argentina’s holiday sun may not be the white snowy Christmas from storybooks, but it definitely has its own summer charm. Come escape the cold in the north and enjoy the heat and summer vibes during Christmas in Argentina.
Christmas in Argentina is normally spent with family for the lunch and dinner parts of the day on the 24th and 25th. However, the 24th night is popular to go out with friends, either to a party or to simply celebrate together at midnight. This might be different than what you are used to, as Argentines spend Christmas with both family and friends and it has more of a social and party aspect. Usually, friends light up fireworks or toast with champagne at midnight.
Buenos Aires is a unique city to spend Christmas in, as many of its residents vacate the city during this time. Most Porteños spend the end of December, January and February outside of the city, either leaving for a few weeks vacation or commuting every weekend. Many people have summer homes along the coast in Mar del Plata, Villa Gesell, or Pinamar. Others rent cabanas or quintos (vacation rentals) in neighborhoods along the river delta north of Buenos Aires. This means that there is a calmer Christmas spirit celebrated in the city on December 24 and 25.
For visitors, there are a few special events in the city that are definitely worth checking out. One is a Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) Fixed Dinner Menu. Many restaurants offer a special 3 or 5 course menu on Christmas Eve with specialty plates at a fixed price. Many times there will be live music, special wine pairings, and specialty dishes you could not find the rest of the year.
Fireworks go off at midnight over Puerto Madero, so meander down to the port docks to celebrate with the revelers and champagne. Bring a side of “pan dulce”, a traditional Christmas sweet bread with raisins, nuts, and dried fruits.
After champagne, you might want to continue the festivities! For the younger crowd, many nightclubs or boliches have special Christmas events. Clubs will start around 2 am and have a Christmas theme with special decorations, VIP tables, and live music.
December 25 is normally spent with family, relaxing after the events of the 24th. For visitors, this might mean a day of walking around the city, enjoying that there is less traffic and crowds to access major tourist sites. A recommended snack for the 25th is a Sandwich de Miga with ham, mayo, egg, and bread rolled into a wrap. It is a traditional Christmas delicacy!
These are a few tips of what to expect during Christmas in Argentina. Wherever you are in the country, make sure to join in on the lively summer spirit!
Written by Nora Wallenius