Dress warm; wear your mittens; put your scarf on; wear goggles if you have them. We are on our way!
First stop is Argentina.
Argentina is made up of around 92 percent Catholics, so their celebrations are close to a traditional Catholic celebration filled with Mass and church celebrations. The Argentineans greet you with Feliz Navidad in order to wish you a Merry Christmas.
There are many days of Christmas carols, family gatherings and beautiful decorations in red, green and gold. The doors of the homes are draped in garland, and the Christmas tree may be adorned in lace. Because of the traditional Roman Catholic heritage, the Nativity Scene – persebre – is one of the most important parts of decorating for the holidays. Every family has one, and it is prominently displayed during the season.
Because Christmas falls during a very warm season in Argentina, the Argentineans like to apply cotton balls to the tips of tree branches to simulate snow. You might want to remove your mittens or hats at this point.
Christmas dinner is served on the 24th of December in the evening, and the celebration is followed by a toast for the adults and fireworks to delight the children. Presents are opened at midnight while lovely paper balloons – globos – fly through the night sky, piloted by a lit candle.
Christmas dinner consists of a roast turkey or pork. Stuffed tomatoes, minced pie and puddings accompany the dinner. The main dish could be a roasted duck or a peacock. Another traditional favorite is the ninos enveuettas, which is a combination of minced meat, onions, hardboiled eggs and spices all stuffed into the center of 3-inch strip of steak. This is served with chimichurri. The toast consists of a fruit drink with chunks of fruit. Deserts of dulce de leche (mahvelous caramel) and a lager or two round out the evening.
The blending of Hispanic, European and American traditions make Christmas in Argentina one that most can recognize, but with an amazing combination of blended foods that are sure to delight the taste buds with their spices.
The holiday season is finalized on the 6th of January with the gift of the Three Kings Day being distributed to the children of Argentina. Children place their shoes outside the home, and the Magi come and fill them with gifts. Instead of cookies and milk, Argentinean children put hay and water out for the Magi’s horses. Some children keep their shoes under their beds. Maybe those were the bad kids.
Maybe some of these gifts have found their way into the wrapped presents under the tree.
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Quick, everyone back in the sleigh.
We have a lot more stops to make on our journey around the world for Christmas, and I would not want you to miss the trip.
Julie and Blu
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