Holidays in Argentina: Fireworks Galore
January 2, 2014 Kristance Harlow
I’ve been neglecting my dear blog lately. I’m busy writing content for the launch of SharpHeels.com, I’m the travel editor-in-chief and have a lot to do for when it goes live in a week! Also, I’ve been on a Listverse frenzy, writing all sorts of articles for them, the most recent one that was published today is called 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Become a Happier Person. Check it out, I struggle with anxiety and depression and a lot of these are tricks I’ve used myself to bring me to a much better state of mind.
I was also away for the holidays. It was fabulous to get away from the city. The week before the trip our barrio in Buenos Aires was experiencing all sorts of power outages. Most were lasting 8-10 hours and always on the hottest days, too much air conditioning for the power grid to handle. We had more than one dinner cooked on our (thankfully) gas stove, eaten in candle light. I also used my long lasting battery for entertainments use and would end the night with a laptop viewing of the Walking Dead. Power outages + zombie apocalypses are a great combination. Other neighborhoods had no power for literally days, at least we could walk a few blocks and plug in at a nearby cafe.
We spent a week in Cordoba Province, mainly in a tiny town called San Antonio and then spent Christmas Eve in the capital of Cordoba, Cordoba. The weather was hot hot hot. Christmas day it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Thankfully, we stayed at Alejandro’s aunts country home that she usually rents out and it has a pool. I’m from no-town USA and am used to greenery, natural shade, and cool breezes. Even though it was sweltering, being in the countryside again was a breath of fresh air (literally). Plus, the pool was a real boon. Just jump in and cool right off. I did get a nasty sunburn though, on the first day there no less. Lots of aloe vera and sunscreen later it faded. No one seems to believe that I simply can’t tan. My burns maybe turn a little “tan” if you can call an eighth of a shade difference a tan. Trust me when I tell you the summer sun is stronger here than it is in New England or the Pacific Northwest. I was burnt in less than three hours. Whoops.
Now, for what I know you want to know about. How are the holidays different in Argentina than they are in the States? The answer is very. We did nothing on Christmas day itself, all the celebrations occur on Christmas Eve. Argentines stay up late, and Christmas is no exception. Back at home my family was fast asleep early while our party had yet to begin. For my in-laws it was a bit of a different celebration because we’d traveled to Cordoba when traditionally they stay at home in Buenos Aires. The party was slated to begin at 9PM but as with all Argentine plans, not even the hosts were ready until 9:30. Food was summer fare, all served cold like seafood salad (made with artificial crab meat), potato salad, and cold cuts. Midnight was like New Years, fireworks (which are not illegal, even in the city) went off all over the place and everyone kissed to say Feliz Navidad. I was summoned to quickly help put all the presents under the tree and shout about how I saw “Papa Noel” for our 8-year-old party guest. After gifts were exchanged (there weren’t a lot of them and no one waited while someone opened one, many only wrote the names for who it was for, leaving it up to the imagination for who gave the gift. The party lasted several more hours. Music switched from Christmas music to all sorts of styles from American Country to Tango and the ladies danced for well over an hour (me included). It was a blast.
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