Christmas is one of the most beloved and widely celebrated holidays worldwide. It is a special time that brings joy and sparkle to our lives with feasting and special rituals, colorful decorations, and the exchanging of gifts. Traditions have developed around this holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus and
they have changed as they have crossed borders into other countries and over time.
Dive into Christmas Traditions in Argentina below. Download Sonlight's Christmas Around the World ebook to explore Christmas traditions from 19 different countries around the world, including 6 of the 7 continents!
Christmas Traditions in Argentina
Christmas traditions in Argentina are a blend of customs influenced by European traditions and the country’s unique cultural identity. Traditions from European influence include the celebration of Nochebuena and la Misa de Gallo (Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass), Christmas trees are also decorated even though these trees are not native to Argentina. Nativity scenes (presebres), Christmas lights, and singing Christmas carols are also popular traditions.
Some regional traditions, especially in the south, include having a parrillada or barbecue on Christmas Eve. Argentina is in the southern hemisphere so it’s their summer! Shooting off fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve (December 24) is another Christmas tradition—one of the luxuries of a warm climate! In addition to fireworks, globos or paper lanterns containing small candles are also lit at this time. The paper lanterns are released into the sky where they float off like mini hot air balloons.
Like Boxing Day in the UK, Día de San Esteban (St. Stephen’s Day) is celebrated on December 26th with
gatherings, meals, and family time.
Christmas Crafts in Argentina
A popular activity to enjoy during Christmas in Argentina is making homemade gifts such as paintings, ceramics, ornaments, marmalade, and baked goods. People get together to make their gifts and give a unique and special gift to their loved ones during the holiday season. These homemade gifts reflect the spirit of giving and thoughtfulness during the Christmas season in Argentina.
Christmas Recipes in Argentina
The main dinner and celebration takes place on Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena. The most beloved Christmas meal in Argentina is vitel thoné. This Italian dish is made of slices of veal topped with tuna and anchovy sauce. It's only eaten around Christmas.
Additional foods served at Christmastime include Ponche Navideño—a traditional Argentine Christmas punch made with fruit and spices. It is often served as a warm, comforting drink during the holiday season. Get the recipe here!
Panettone (Similar to Italy, this sweet yeast bread is also popular in Argentina). Turrón is a Spanish-style nougat that is also enjoyed in Argentina during the holidays—see the recipes below. Finally, Mantecados de Anis (Spanish anise-flavored shortbread cookies) are commonly found on Christmas tables.
Download a Christmas Playlist
Christmas caroling is a popular tradition in Argentina, with people singing villancicos (carols) in the streets and door-to-door. Check out Sonlight's Christmas Around the World Spotify playlist here to download Christmas music from Argentina and around the world.
What is your favorite tradition to celebrate with your family around Christmastime?
From traditional festivities to unique customs, we hope these Argentine traditions add a rich diversity to your family celebrations during this joyous holiday. Download the complete Christmas Around the World ebook to infuse your holiday traditions with Christmas customs, recipes, and crafts from 19 countries around the world.
We'd love to hear more about the traditions you celebrate in your own home! Share your stories on your favorite social media outlet using #sonlightstories or comment below. Have a tradition you'd like to see added to this post? Let us know, by emailing us at email@example.com.