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Christmas in Argentina Facts

Christmas in Argentina Facts

Christmas in Argentina combines religious customs with summer festivities, creating a blend of traditions that are distinct to the region. Argentina, a predominantly Catholic country, celebrates Christmas with a South American twist, incorporating local customs into the globally recognized holiday. Below are the key takeaways from this article, highlighting the most interesting aspects of Christmas in Argentina.

Key Takeaways

Main CelebrationChristmas Eve (Nochebuena)
Traditional FoodAsado (BBQ), Vitel Toné, Panettone
DrinkSidra (Cider), Ananá Fizz (Pineapple Fizz)
Unique TraditionGlobe Lanterns released into the sky
Public HolidayDecember 24th and 25th
Religious ServicesMisa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass) at midnight
Gift GivingOccurs at midnight on Christmas Eve
Typical DecorationNativity scenes, Christmas trees, lights
Climate During ChristmasWarm summer weather

Argentina is a country where the warmth of its people is matched by the heat of its December weather. Unlike the snowy Christmas depicted in many Western movies, Argentineans celebrate amidst the warm summer climate, which influences many of their festive traditions.

Celebrating Christmas in Argentine Style

The Fusion of Cultures

Argentinian Christmas is a festive fusion of Spanish, Italian, and indigenous traditions. The population of Argentina is diverse, with a significant number of people with European ancestry. This multicultural background is reflected in the customs, food, and celebrations of Christmas.

The Heart of Argentine Christmas: Nochebuena

DateCelebrationKey Activities
December 24thNochebuena (Christmas Eve)Family gatherings, feasting, fireworks
MidnightMisa de GalloAttending Midnight Mass
After MidnightExchange of GiftsFamily and friends exchange gifts

Nochebuena is when families come together to share a meal, often starting late in the evening and lasting past midnight. It is the main event of Christmas festivities in Argentina.

Traditional Argentine Christmas Cuisine

Argentinian Christmas meals are a feast for the senses, often featuring:

  • Asado: A barbecue that includes a variety of meats.
  • Vitel Toné: A dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy anchovy and tuna sauce.
  • Panettone: A sweet bread loaf originally from Italy.
  • Sidra: A sweet cider that is popular during the Christmas season.
  • Ananá Fizz: A refreshing pineapple fizz drink.

Christmas Decorations and Nativity Scenes

Argentinians typically decorate their homes with lights, trees, and nativity scenes. In the lead-up to Christmas, families often gather to set up and decorate the Christmas tree together. Nativity scenes, known as ‘pesebres’, are also a common sight and are a focal point of the decorations.

Gift-Giving Traditions

Gifts are traditionally given after the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, adding to the excitement of Nochebuena. Children, in particular, look forward to this moment with great anticipation.

The Role of Religion in Christmas Celebrations

Misa de Gallo (Midnight Mass)Attended by the faithful after Christmas Eve dinner.
Nativity ScenesDisplayed in homes and churches, depicting the birth of Jesus.
Religious ProcessionsIn some regions, processions are held with statues of Mary and Joseph.

Religion plays a significant role in the celebration of Christmas in Argentina. Many attend the ‘Misa de Gallo’, or Rooster’s Mass, which is held at midnight to mark the birth of Christ.

Unique Argentine Christmas Traditions

  • Globe Lanterns: People release paper lanterns, known as ‘globos’, into the sky on Christmas Eve, creating a beautiful spectacle.
  • Fireworks: At midnight on Christmas Eve, the sky is lit with fireworks, celebrating the arrival of Christmas Day.

Christmas Day and Beyond

Christmas Day is often more relaxed and is typically spent recovering from the festivities of Nochebuena. Many enjoy the day outdoors, taking advantage of the summer weather.

Embracing the Summer Spirit

Christmas in Argentina is unique due to its summertime setting. The warm weather allows for outdoor celebrations and summer-specific traditions that differentiate an Argentine Christmas from its colder counterparts.

  • Outdoor Meals: Families often dine al fresco, enjoying the summer air.
  • Summer Sports: After Christmas feasts, it is common for families to engage in summer sports or go to the beach.


Christmas in Argentina is a vibrant and warm occasion that celebrates family, faith, and togetherness. The traditions, from the globe lanterns to the Nochebuena feast, offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural tapestry. If you’re spending Christmas in Argentina, you’re in for an unforgettable experience that perfectly combines solemn religious observance with joyful summer festivity.