Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holidays in Argentina

There are several national holidays in Argentina, this country knows how to embrace culture and how to throw a fiesta!

Here are a few examples:

March/April: Carnaval de Pais!
This is celebrated two weeks prior to the start of Lent- similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnavale in Brazil.

It is widely celebrated throughout the country with parades, parties and merry-making. The biggest festivale is held in Gualeguichu where they have a 38,000 seat venue with a stage that holds 700 dancers.

They really know how to make plan a parade!

May 8th: Día de la Virgen de Luján
Our Lady of Lujan is the patron saint of Argentina. On this day Catholics in the country celebrate their patron saint with Mass, processions and festivals.

Tradition says that an ox-drawn wagon was taking a statue of The Virgin from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero. The animals stopped at the Luján River and refused to cross. Through trial and error the teamsters discovered that if the box with the Virgin was in the wagon, the oxen would not move; if it was removed, then away they went. After testing this several times, the people realized that Our Lady wanted to stay in Luján, and so she is there today.

October 12th: Día de la Raza:
This holiday started in 1917 as a celebration of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

The holiday is still observed throughout South America and North America. In Argentina it has evolved into a celebration of cultural origin and diversity in the community.