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Festivities in Buenos Aires 2017


(Photo copyright Beatrice Murch)

I am pretty sure that I was at least 10 years old before I had the stamina to stay up until midnight. Christmas night was rather sporadic in sleep but I was always out like a light by 1030pm or 11pm despite how hard I tried to stay awake. But if you have just spent Christmas in Buenos Aires, you will have realised that it is most normal for children of all ages (from babies upwards) to be up until the wee small hours of the morning since Christmas Eve dinner is the most important part of Christmas celebrations. As the clock strikes midnight to welcome in Christmas Day, the children head outside to see the fireworks and the remaining adults quickly shuffle all the hidden presents under the tree. When said children walk back into the house, there are exclaims of "Goodness me did anyone see Papa Noel do that!?" and "A big man in a suit dropped these off while you were outside!" (note, these are not direct translations but rather the gist of the exclamations) admist the squeals of delight as children revel in doing what they do best at Christmas time - ripping off wrapping paper. Clearly late nights are in these people's genes.

And judging by the mid 30s temperatures we have been having lately, New Year in the city is promising to be a sweltering and sweaty affair unless you are underneath the air conditioning. Many northern hemisphere dwellers understandably don't really feel it's Christmas when spending December down in the southern hemisphere. Christmas lights don't make sense when it is light until after 9pm, eating a big meal during a heatwave seems ludicrous and most people seem to celebrate outside on their terraces or patios, making Christmas a much louder affair in the streets. New Year's parties in warm weather, however, makes for pleasant outdoor all night affairs.

While the fireworks displays are not as they once were (much to the relief of many domestic animals), the stroke of midnight on both Christmas Day and New Year's Day bring many people and families out into the streets in Buenos Aires. Traffic jams are rather frequent in the wee small hours of the morning as everyone is either making their way to either their own or another family member's house for more gift giving and best wishes.

It is highly recommended over the holiday season to prebook everything. Public transportation can seem non existent on the holiday days as they run a very reduced schedule and delays are inevitable. Many restaurants require reservations as well.  

If you are in the city for New Years Eve and wish to make it memorable and unique (and cool with the assured comfort of air conditioning), be sure to check out some of the local tango shows. Most offer free transfers which means you don't need to fight to get a taxi to get there or back, and with a variety of packages that can also include meals and drinks, it means your night is well taken care of.   Transfers, cocktails, dinner, tango show - all followed by parties until the wee small hours of the morning. Madero Tango is even offering the additional surprise of watching fireworks go off over the docks of Puerto Madero. Whether it’s traditional (Esquina Carlos Gardel, Cafe de Los Angelitos), romantic (Gala Tango, La Ventana), extravagant (Madero Tango, Señor Tango, Rojo Tango) or bohemian (El Viejo Almacen, El Querandi), you´re sure to find a New Year´s Eve tango show that suits your style.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you all have a safe and Happy New Year.



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