Independence Day Celebrations: 4th of July vs. 9th of July

Parades, parties and patriotism—three common words that come into all of our minds when we think of Independence Day!  America and Argentina may share these Independence Day sentiments, as well as the same month of celebration, but the festivities in the two countries have a few cultural differences.

United States Flag vs Argentinean Flag

Let’s take a look at the three traditions that make their celebrations different:

1. Family Affair vs. Communal Gathering

Argentinians are big on family ties. Independence Day for most of them means a family reunion, similar to how Americans would celebrate Thanksgiving.  They prefer to celebrate the day with a warm, cozy gathering, inside the house, especially since July is a winter month in Argentina.

Argentinean Family Celebrating

Whereas, in America, neighborhood block parties and communal picnics usually sprout up around the country.  Family and friends gather together to take part in summer activities like eating competitions, pool-side parties and live music performances to celebrate the day.

Independence Day Celabrations

2. Culture vs. Casual

Since Argentinians usually have family reunions on Independence Day, it is the perfect opportunity to cook up the most traditional family recipes.  These typically include steaming empanadas and a warm corn stew called ‘locro’, which both help to shake off the cold weather outside. Families gulp down the delicious food with a glass of Malbec wine and end the meal with sweet pastelitos (a puff pastry) and chocolate dipped churos.

Traditional Argentinean Food For Independence Day

Americans, on the other hand, like to keep things very casual.  If you have ever attended a Fourth of July barbeque in the U.S., you know that it takes a village to create the serve-yourself-style buffet that is most common on this special summer day. People can usually be seen party-hopping or picnicking with hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and corn on the cob. They pair the summer favorites with arnold palmers (lemonade + iced tea) and beer, of course!

Traditional Fourth of July Food

3. The Streets:

The streets of major cities in both countries are packed with parades. While Argentinians like to wear their normal daily clothes while watching military members marching down the streets, Americans may only follow the red, blue and white color theme, sometimes adding facepaint or costumes to spice things up. Also, in some smaller Argentine towns outside the city, you may see traditionally dressed ‘Gauchos’ (classic Argentine horse-masters) riding their horses through the streets with flags in hand.  In contrast, many parades in the U.S. feature marching bands, festive floats, and beautifully-maintained, old-school cars from the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. 

The night sky in Argentina might be sparkling with stars, but in America it is filled with the sparks and pops of impressive firework displays across the country.

The way these countries celebrate their independence day may be different but the feeling of joy and pride in every citizen’s heart is universal on such a special day.

 How do you celebrate your Independence Day?

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