In this article in our Argentina series I want to share with you what Christmas in Argentina looks like. We look forward to celebrating Christmas in Argentina this way next year.
Christmas in Argentina is very different from what we are used to here in the States. It comes at the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it’s usually very warm. Like us, their preparations for Christmas begin very early in December and even in November. (Many people in Argentina are Catholic and they also celebrate Advent.)
Many of the houses are beautifully decorated with lights and wreaths of green, gold, red and white flowers. Red and white garlands are hung on the doors of houses. Christmas trees are also very popular and they are often decorated by 8th December (see last blog article). Some Argentines like to put cotton balls on the Christmas Tree to represent snow and any tree could be used for a Christmas tree not just evergreens.
Something Argentines don’t get into is giving or sending Christmas Cards, but they do give and receive presents, just normally only between close friends and family.
The main Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve. Many Catholics will go to a Mass in the late afternoon.The main meal Christmas is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve, often about 10pm or 11pm, which is not much later than normal. It might be served in the garden or be a barbecue by the pool! At midnight there will be the unusual sound of lots of fireworks, much like our 4th of July celebrations. Just after the fireworks is when most families will open their presents together under the tree. Some people stay awake all the night chatting and seeing friends and family and then spend most of Christmas Day sleeping.