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December 22, 2010 ·

A Buenos Aires Christmas

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The end of year holidays here in Buenos Aires are hot, Hot, HOT! Many visitors, especially those who are from the northern hemisphere, they often share the same sentiments that ‘where is Christmas? I don’t feel it.’ The beautiful heat really dislodges any association of Christmas with snow, hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog etc. However, you’ll still be reminded of this wonderful time of the year if you pay attention and particularly, walk into shopping malls, which are all very well-decorated with big Christmas trees, Christmas sales signs, AND there’s always a Santa Claus attending to long lines of excited children taking note of their wishes.

Generally, Christmas is not really as much celebrated as in the western countries. There are no Christmas carol singing, radio channels aren’t taken over by 24-hr Christmas music, no elaborate turkey feast… However, other aspects of it are definitely preserved, like the shopping, the presents, time of family, vacation time (even though people here do so more to escape the heat than because of the occasion) and party time!

When it comes to food, the only sign of Christmas is in the panaderias (bakeries). The one distinctive Christmas Traditions in Argentina. Food I’ve encountered is the pan dulce, which is like a typical Christmas bread where there are dried fruits and may be nuts in egg bread. When it is around 2 weeks before Christmas, you will start seeing panaderias popping up pan dulce of different sizes on their counter top. A lot of them would also make huuuuge ones where you can even buy them by weight. At Christmas Eve family dinner, I’m pretty sure I’ll not be eating anything else other than carne (beef), wash down with some delicious Malbec and then end it with a nice glass of bubbling champagne – celebrating it the typical Argentine-style!

No matter how you are celebrating this occasion, Vamos Spanish wishes everyone out there Happy Holidays! ¡Felices Fiestas! Be safe and please don’t drink and drive.

Isabel

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