(Photo by Nico_)
Christmas is right around the corner and here in Buenos Aires this means pool parties, barbeques, panettone and trips to the beach.
Unlike North American and European tradition, in Argentina, Christmas is synonymous with sunny summer weather. Celebrations are also very different and incorporate the traditions of the many immigrants that defined the country’s identity.
So, what can you expect if you’re celebrating in Buenos Aires this year?
First of all, since its summer break, Christmas is the beginning of the beach season, which means the city empties out until the end of January, traffic reduces significantly and people are more relaxed.
Secondly, the big celebration here is on Christmas Eve. Families gather for Christmas dinner and at midnight every one toasts, fireworks light the sky and afterwards the gifts under the Christmas tree are handed out. Once the family festivities are done, younger crowds go out for some late night clubbing with friends. On Christmas day, the leftovers from Christmas Eve are shared with friends and family at late lunches by the pool.
The Christmas menu varies depending on the family’s heritage. Many families make the typical asado, whilst others display a large variety of salads, cold cuts, stuffed eggs and tomatoes, and chicken or turkey. Another typical Christmas dish is Vitel Thoné, a Piedmontese recipe of cold sliced meat coated in a sauce made of egg, tuna, capers, olive oil, cream and anchovies. Desserts mostly consist of fruit and ice cream and typical panettone (an Italian fruit cake) turrones (of Spanish origin), and dried fruits and nuts are served with the champagne or cider used to toast at midnight.