Argentine Christmas traditions are a combination of European, American and Hispanic conventions. Christmas dinner is served on the night of December 24 and normally includes roast pork or peacock as the main dish with stuffed tomatoes, mince pies and iced beverages. A favorite traditional dish of the people here is 'Ninosenvuettas' - a steak preparation served with minced meat, onions, boiled eggs and spices. Other food attractions of the event include special toast prepared with a variety of fruits and blended with juice and cider and a grilled meat dish called 'Parrillada Argentina'. The desserts mainly include regional delicacies like 'Turrons', which is a type of candy, and 'Pan Dulce' or 'Panettone', which is a sweet bread topped with fruits and nuts .
Traditionally, Argentineans observe the holiday with most of Christmas Day spent in Church services. At the stroke of midnight, families gather to attend church services and celebrate "La Navidad"
The twelve days of Christmas celebrations last until January 6 and ends with extravagant feasts and dinner parties for 'Three Kings' Day'. As in other countries that use the Julian calendar, the Magi bring the Argentinean kids gifts on Three Kings Day. On the eve of January 6th, children place their shoes underneath the Christmas tree or beside their beds. They leave hay and water outside the house so the horses of the Magi who bring them their gifts will have a meal as they journey toward the Christ Child in Bethlehem.
A cloche worthy of a king
Christmas in Argentina is warm and because there is no snow, the locals decorate their evergreen Christmas trees with cotton balls to simulate snow on the tree branches. The Christmas trees are also decorated with flowers, laces, balls and candles. The ‘Pesebre’, or the replica of nativity scene, is placed underneath the trees. Wreaths, in green, gold, red and white, adorn the living rooms and kitchens while scented candles are lit to brighten the rooms and red and white garlands are hung on the doors. Another unique Christmas tradition is of lighting ‘globos’ — colorful paper lighting made of flying paper that is used to light up the night sky during Christmas.
Stars and candles make a nice combination for the holiday table:
And keys to remind you of all the doors there are to open in life:
And a set of delicate gold bowls I just love. You just can't go wrong with gold...or frankincense and myrrh, I suppose.
Enjoy the Season!