Christmas in Argentina is celebrated by the nations many Roman Catholics and others as a family-oriented event.
Many attend religious services at their churches, gather together for family reunions, and spend the time singing Christmas carols, decorating their homes, and celebrating the holiday season.
Cities and homes are decorated much according to European tradition. Christmas colors like red, white, green, and gold are common, as are lights, flowers, wreaths, and Christmas trees. The pesebre, or nativity scene, is placed near the Christmas tree.
Despite the Argentine Christmas occurring in the summer, you may also find an abundance of snow-related decorations, like cotton-balls adorning Christmas trees, snowmen, and even papier-mâché snowflakes.
New Years Eve traditions include the lighting of fireworks and globos, paper balloons that light up the night sky. Many even spend the night at the boliches, or night-clubs, dancing the night away to live DJs.
Christmas Eve dinners are similar to traditional European Christmas meals, including roast turkey, pork, mince pies, Christmas breads and puddings. They may also include national favorites, like Ninos Envuettas, slices of steak stuffed with onions, hard-boiled eggs, and various spices.
Children leave their shoes outside the front door, or under the Christmas tree, to be filled with gifts, and may even leave hay and water for the Magi’s horses.
Christmas Day dinners, however, include outdoor parrillas, or barbecues, and even picnics, served with special desserts like panettone.
The celebrating continues on Christmas Day through January 6th, Three Kings Day, when the presents are opened, commemorating the 12-day journey of the magi to visit the Christ child.