One of the largest celebrations throughout
Argentina is "Carnival". This is a celebration just before Lent, the traditional
period of fasting that begins about six weeks before Easter. Each region
has its own way to celebrate Carnival. In the northern province of Salta,
people dress up and dance the zamba and the carnavalito. In the northeasten
provinces, people sing songs called chamamé, accompanied by accordions
There are also many regional holidays and festivals.
People come from all over the world to celebrate folk traditions at the
National Festival of Folklore in Cosquín in the central province
of Córdoba in January.
In the province of Mendoza, La Fiesta de la Vendimia
is celebrated for three days during grape harvest season in March. Grapes
are blessed on the vines, a queen is crowned and wine-makers serve free
red wine. The grand finale is an elaborate show of fireworks. This festival
serves to remind people that their lives depend on the sun, rain and earth.
At Mar del Plata on the coast, the Harvest of Fish
is celebrated with a banquet of seafood and a parade of people dressed
as sea-creatures and led by the Queen of the Sea, riding in a seashell.
A livestock show and fiesta in Buenos Aires in July mark
the importance of the cattle industry. Argentina's finest bulls compete
for the title of champion shorthorn bull of the year.
In the southern Andean city of San Carlos de Bariloche,
a Snow Festival is held every August. Many of the early settlers in this
area came from Switzerland, and Swiss cake and hot port wine with cinnamon
are served during the festival.
Christmas is also a happy occasion. Argentinians celebrate
New Year's Eve with fireworks. The streets are filled with music and dancing,
and in Buenos Aires there is a ticker tape parade.