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 or harps.
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.