In Argentina the weather is warm at Christmas. Preparations for Christmas begin very early in December and even in November. Many people in Argentina are Catholic and they also celebrate Advent.
House 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 (the feast of the Immaculate Conception – when Catholics celebrate when Mary was conceived).
The Nativity scene or ‘pesebre’ is also an important Christmas decoration in Argentina. The pesebre is put near to the Christmas tree.
Christmas Cards aren’t common in Argentina and although some people give and receive presents, it’s normally only between close family and friends.
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. It might be served in the garden or be a barbecue! Some popular dishes include roasted turkey, roasted pork (in northern Argentina, some people will have goat), stuffed tomatoes, salads and Christmas bread and puddings like ‘Pan Dulce’ and Panetone.
At midnight there will be the sound of lots of fireworks! Some people like to go to midnight services, but other prefer to stay at home and let off fireworks and then open their presents under the tree.
Another Christmas Eve night tradition are ‘globos’, paper decorations with a light inside that float into the sky (like Chinese Lanterns). The sky is filled with them on Christmas Eve after midnight.
In Argentina the main language spoken is Spanish (still called castellano by Argentines), so Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Feliz Navidad’.