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The Indy Eye: Christmas in Buenos Aires

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Christmas traditions in Argentina are distinctly different to those we Northern Hemisphere expats are used to. For one thing, it’s way too bloody hot in December to get much enjoyment from mulled wine, gravy, woolly hats, and ice-rinks. What’s more, Argentina has not quite been fully submerged in the insufferable consumerism that dictates Christmas traditions in certain parts of the world. Not yet, at least.

Instead, Christmas here is mainly used as yet another excuse to have a late night asado with family and friends, while staying close to the air con.

That said, some more traditionally European and North American Christmas decorations have been slowly filtering through here, with varying success and awkwardness. Here’s a look at some of the festive adornments that you can expect to find dotted around Buenos Aires during the holiday period.

All photos by Sam Pothecary.

The owner of this stall is fully aware that no Christmas is complete without a baby dressed as Santa, even if its 38 degrees C.

The owner of this stall is fully aware that no Christmas is complete without a baby dressed as Santa, even if its 38 degrees outside.

Buenos Aires premier shopping centre (for overpriced clothes), Alto Palermo isn’t one to miss out on the Christmas cheer. This year, curious red and white baubles have been suspended from the ceiling to remind us all to spend generously.

Buenos Aires premier shopping centre (for overpriced clothes), Alto Palermo isn’t one to miss out on the Christmas cheer. This year, curious red and white objects have been suspended from the ceiling to remind us all to spend generously.

Santa loves Coca Cola in every country. But, if only Papa Noel knew what it will be mixed with on Christmas Eve in Buenos Aires...

Santa loves Coca Cola in every country. But, if only Papa Noel knew what it will be mixed with over Christmas in Buenos Aires…

More and more of the shops and eateries in the city are getting into the Christmas spirit with slightly awkward decorations. Here, a Palermo bakery displays a suitably garish pink tree to get customers in the holiday mood.

More and more of the shops and eateries in the city are getting into the Christmas spirit with slightly awkward decorations. Here, a Palermo bakery displays a suitably garish pink tree to get customers in the holiday mood.

Extra security for this Santa in Buenos Aires.

Extra security for this Santa in Buenos Aires.

Clinton Cards has, thankfully, yet to expand its enterprise to this part of the world. But, don’t distress, there is a distinctly Argentine alternative for purchasing your Christmas cards.

Clinton Cards has, thankfully, yet to expand its enterprise to this part of the world. But, don’t distress, there is a distinctly Argentine alternative for purchasing your Christmas cards.

Not traditionally known for his love of ice-cream, when in the Argentine summer, this ominous looking Santa swaps his mince pies for a refreshing Torpedo.

Not traditionally known for his love of ice-cream, when in the Argentine summer, this ominous looking Santa swaps his mince pies for a refreshing Torpedo.

Even Monseñor Dr. Miguel De Andrea has been given a fancy Christmas makeover for the holidays.

Even Monseñor Dr. Miguel De Andrea has been given a fancy Christmas makeover for the holidays.

And finally, in my very own apartment building, we’ve been blessed with this little slice of Christmas wonder. Sometimes I miss home.

And finally, in my very own apartment building, we’ve been blessed with this little slice of Christmas wonder. Sometimes I miss home.

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- who has written 805 posts on The Argentina Independent.


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  1. […] Even though Christmas in Argentina is celebrated in blistering summer heat, decorations in the city pay an awkward homage to Northern Hemisphere traditions. Sam Pothecary captures the contrasts. The Argentina Independent […]


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