San Martín de Tours- Patron Saint of Buenos Aires

Spanish colonizers had a tradition of blessing each new conquest by assigning a patron saint from their Catholic tradition. In Buenos Aires, this event took place on the 20th of October of 1580. The story goes that Juan de Garay and the first members of the cabildo (the government of the viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata) gathered on this day to pick the patron saint. When San Martín de Tours was chosen randomly from a group of names pulled from a hat the neighbors objected because he had a French name so the procedure was carried out again. San Martin de Tours was randomly picked three times from the hat and so it was finally accepted as an act of God. Every 11th of November the patron saint of Buenos Aires is remembered.

This Sunday, at the Avenida de Mayo, there will be a special celebration to commemorate this historical figure. The event will feature a historic recreation of Colonial Buenos Aires and will include a screening about the history of San Martin de Tours, different parades and artistic events and a mass at the Buenos Aires cathedral starting at 4.30pm.

St Patrick’s Day in Buenos Aires

(Photo by csuspect)

It may seem odd that Buenos Aires celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with such fervor, but actually, when you combine the local party lifestyle and the fact that Argentina has the 5th largest Irish community in the world, it starts to make sense. Below are some listed activities that will be taking place to commemorate the festivity this Saturday.

– The St. Patrick’s parade will take off at Arroyo and Suipacha, downtown, at 7pm, ending at Plaza San Martín. The parade will include traditional Irish music and dancing and a fairy and leprechaun costume contest.

– Meanwhile the nearby pubs around Reconquista Street in Retiro will be hosting their biggest night of the year, as it is the traditional city spot for St. Patrick’s Day feasting.  If you head in this direction, expect large crowds, a super street party and lively heavy drinking!.

– Another option, to celebrate with other fellow travelers, is the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. The pub crawl costs $150 (pesos), and includes free wine and beer from 9-10pm, pizzas, a stop at three different bars with a free shooter at each, discounts on drinks and a last stop at the annual “Night Of The Drunken Leprechaun” party. Book your place in advance here.

-Uniclub in the Abasto area will be hosting an alternative St. Patrick’s Day party starting at 11.30pm.  Live music and two different dance floors with rock music, reggae, ska, 80s, 90s, cumbia, will be setting the pace.  Guardia Vieja 3360, Abasto. 4867-6764 info@uniclub.com.ar.

-Isenbeck Beer Festival: Although not an official St. Patrick’ s Day party, a beer festival seems to be a very appropriate place to celebrate. More information here.

-Of course all the pubs in town will be participating in this lively festivity. A full list of pubs can be found at the official 2012 St. Patrick’s Day webpage.

Other events taking place on Saturday:

The weekend will also be chock full of alternative activities for those who wish to steer clear of the fairies and leprechauns.  Several concerts will be offered on Saturday as well as other events.

Buenos Aires Ukraine celebrations will be taking place at the 3 de Febrero parks in Palermo. Traditional music and dances, as well as food and more will be on display.

The city government will also be hosting an audiovisual night in the city featuring FX booths,  animation workshops, screenings and more. From 5pm-10pm. Dorrego and Freire, Palermo.

Renowned guitarist Scott Henderson will be playing at the ND/Ateneo on Saturday as part of his Well to the Bone Tour 2012. Tickets available here.

Another famous guitarist will also be staging a live show on Saturday; Luis Salinas will be playing at La Trastienda at 11.30pm. Tickets here.

Roger Waters, the British legend that was once part of Pink Floyd, will be playing at the River Plate Stadium on Saturday and Sunday!  Tickets here.