Holidays, Festivals, and Events
Argentina observes the typical national holidays and quite a few special events on top of that. The summer months of January and February, when most Argentines leave on vacation, are generally a quiet time; things pick up after school starts in early March.
January 1 is Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day), an official holiday.
February or March
Dates for the pre-Lenten Carnaval (Carnival) vary year to year but most celebrations take place on weekends rather than during the week. While unlikely ever to match the spectacle of Brazilian festivities, Carnaval is enjoying a revival in Buenos Aires neighborhoods and Mesopotamian cities like Gualeguaychú and Corrientes.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is widely observed in Catholic Argentina, though only the days from Viernes Santo (Good Friday) through Pascua (Easter) are official holidays. Many Argentines use the long weekend for a mini-vacation.
May 1 is Día del Trabajador (International Labor Day), an official holiday. On May 25, Argentines observe the Revolución de Mayo (May Revolution of 1810), when porteños made their first move toward independence by declaring the viceroy illegitimate.
June 10 is Día de las Malvinas (Malvinas Day), an official holiday celebrating Argentina’s claim to the British-governed Falkland Islands. June 20, also an official holiday, is Día de la Bandera (Flag Day).
July 9’s Día de la Independencia celebrates the formal declaration of Argentine independence at the northwestern city of Tucumán in 1816. Later in the month, when school lets out, many Argentines take Vacaciones de Invierno (Winter Holidays), when flights and even buses fill up fast.
August 17 is Día de San Martín, the official observance of the death (not birth) of Argentina’s independence hero.
October 12 is Día de la Raza (equivalent to Columbus Day), an official holiday.
November 2’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is when Argentines visit the graves of their loved ones, though this is not the colorful event it is in, say, Mexico or Guatemala.
December 25 is Navidad (Christmas Day), an official holiday.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition