Argentina is a country with a rich culture and history, and this is reflected in the many national holidays and festivities celebrated throughout the year. Buenos Aires is at the center of many of these celebrations, which bring together people from all walks of life to enjoy food, music, and traditional customs. The most important holidays in Argentina are Truth & Justice Memorial Day, Malvinas Day, Independence Day, and other major festive holidays such as New Year's Day and Christmas Day.
Carnival is also a big celebration in Buenos Aires, which takes place in February or March each year. It is a time when people dress up in colorful costumes and dance to lively music. There are parades in many neighborhoods, with the biggest one being in the neighborhood of Liniers. In the countryside of Province Buenos Aires, the small town of Lincoln offers a great carnival including a parade of coaches, mini-coaches, processions, infantile and a grandparent’s parade, headstrong and mask with several musical bands and popular dances.
March 24: Truth and Justice Memorial Day
This day, also known as “Día de la Memoria por la Verdad y la Justicia” in Spanish, is a national holiday in Argentina on March 24 every year. The day commemorates the victims of the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that occurred between 1976 and 1983 during the military dictatorship in Argentina.
During the Dirty War, thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the government's security forces. Many of these victims were young students, intellectuals, and political activists who were considered a threat to the dictatorship. The exact number of people who were killed or disappeared during this period is still unknown, but estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000. Truth and Justice Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reflection for the victims of the Dirty War and to honor the courage and resilience of those who fought against the dictatorship and for democracy in Argentina.
April 2: Veterans Day
Veterans Day in Argentina, or "Día del Veterano y de los Caídos en la Guerra de Malvinas," is a national holiday celebrated on April 2 every year. This day commemorates the Argentine soldiers who fought in the Falklands War, also known as the Malvinas War, against the United Kingdom in 1982.
The Falklands War began on April 2, 1982, when Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, which had been under British control since the 19th century. The conflict lasted for 74 days and resulted in the deaths of over 900 people, including 649 Argentine soldiers.
On Veterans Day, there are ceremonies and parades across Argentina, with the main event taking place in Buenos Aires.
May 1: Labour Day
Labor Day, celebrated on May 1st, holds significant importance in Argentina as a day dedicated to honoring workers and their contributions. It is a public holiday that commemorates the achievements and struggles of the labor movement.
In Argentina, Labor Day is marked by various activities and events organized by labor unions, worker associations, and political organizations. The day often begins with rallies and demonstrations in major cities, where workers gather to voice their demands, promote workers' rights, and advocate for social justice. Additionally, cultural events, music concerts, and art exhibitions are organized to celebrate the achievements of the labor movement and to foster a sense of unity among workers. Many people take the opportunity to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the day off from work.
May 25: May Revolution Day
Another important holiday in Argentina is May Revolution Day celebrated on May 25. This day commemorates the day in 1810 when a revolution began against Spanish colonial rule. In Buenos Aires, there is a big military parade and traditional food stalls selling empanadas and choripán (a type of sausage sandwich).
June 20: National Flag Day
National Flag Day, or "Día de la Bandera," is a national holiday in Argentina celebrated on June 20 every year. This day commemorates the death of Manuel Belgrano, who is credited with creating the Argentine flag.
Manuel Belgrano was a military leader who fought for the independence of Argentina from Spain. In 1812, he created the flag of Argentina, which is known as the "Bandera Celeste y Blanca" (Celeste and White Flag). The flag features two horizontal stripes, with a sun in the center of the top stripe and a national coat of arms in the center of the bottom stripe. On National Flag Day, there are celebrations throughout Argentina, with the main event taking place in Rosario, the birthplace of Manuel Belgrano.
July 9: Argentine Independence Day
One of the most important national holidays in Argentina is Independence Day, which is celebrated on July 9. On this day in 1816, a congress declared independence from Spain. In Buenos Aires, the celebrations include a parade, music performances, and fireworks.
August 17: Death of General San Jose de San Martin
General San Martín is considered one of the country's greatest national heroes, known for his instrumental role in liberating Argentina and several South American countries from Spanish colonial rule. Today, Argentina pays tribute to General San Martín's legacy and his contributions to the country's independence. Various commemorative events take place throughout Argentina, particularly in the city of Buenos Aires. People gather at monuments, statues, and historical sites dedicated to San Martín, such as the iconic Plaza San Martín.
Official ceremonies are held, attended by government officials, military representatives, and citizens. These ceremonies often involve wreath-laying ceremonies, flag-raising, and the playing of the national anthem. In addition, historical reenactments, parades, and cultural performances showcasing traditional dances and music may take place.
Schools and educational institutions focus on teaching students about General San Martín's life, achievements, and his significance in Argentine history. Many people also take the opportunity to visit museums and exhibitions dedicated to San Martín, deepening their understanding of his leadership and his pivotal role in the struggle for independence.
December 8: Day of the Immaculate Conception
In Argentina, the Day of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8th. It is a national holiday and an important religious observance. People attend Mass, visit shrines and churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and participate in processions. It is a day of reflection, prayer, and devotion to the patroness of Argentina.
Dec 25: Christmas
Christmas is also an important holiday in Buenos Aires, with many traditional customs and celebrations. On Christmas Eve, families gather for a big feast and exchange gifts at midnight. The city is decorated with lights, and there is a big fireworks display at midnight on New Year's Eve.
Buenos Aires is a city that loves to celebrate, and there are many national holidays and festivities throughout the year. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or music and dance, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant and colorful city.
Events in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires International Book Fair
This is one of the biggest book fairs in the world, and takes place in April and May each year. The fair features book signings, talks, and presentations by famous authors, as well as book sales and exhibitions.
Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival
BAFICI or the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival takes place in April each year, and showcases independent films from around the world.
The Buenos Aires Tango Festival is a must-see for lovers of tango music and dance. This festival takes place in August each year and includes performances, workshops, and concerts by some of the most famous tango dancers in Argentina.
La Noche de los Museos (Night of the Museums)
La Noche de los Museos is another popular event in Buenos Aires, which takes place in November. On this night, many museums and art galleries open their doors for free and stay open until late at night. This event is a great opportunity to explore the city's cultural offerings and learn more about the Argentine history and art.