Cultural Traditions





World View
Cultural Traditions
Gestures & Myths
Project Team


On this page you will find information to answer all of the questions you may have regarding the following...

I. Argentine Holidays

II. Holiday Explanations

III. Dance and Music

IV. Art and Literature

V. Argentine Food

VI. Argentine Sports




National Festival of Folklore

New Year's Day (Jan. 1)


Good Friday



La Fiesta de la Vendimia


Labor Day (1st)

Anniversary of the First National Government (25th)


Day of the Flag (20th)

Day of Friendship


Independence Day (9th)

Livestock show


Anniversary of the Death of General José de San Martín (17th)

Snow Festival


Columbus Day (12th)


Christmas (25th)

Further explanations about the holidays....

bullet The National Festival of Folklore occurs in Cordoba as a celebration of Argentine folk tradition.
bullet Carnival occurs prior to lent in Argentina.  All the different regions perform different acts for this holiday.  In Salta, the “zamba” and “carnavalito” dances are performed in interesting attire.  In the Northeast Argentine region people sing with instruments.
bullet La Fiesta de la Vendimia, which is referred to as the grape harvest, is a three day festival of blessing for the grapes used to make wine.  Wine is made and drank for free, a queen is crowned, and a display of fireworks marks the end of the festivities. 
bullet On the Day of Friendship people send cards, flowers, and phone calls to their close pals.
bullet The Livestock show, which takes place in Buenos Aires, is a way for the Argentine people to show the importance cattle have played in their society (strengthened the economy, opened trade, etc).  Bull competitions take place during the show. 
bullet The Snow festival in San Carlos de Bariloche is a celebration of the strong Swiss influence in that region.  Traditional Swiss cake and wine are served.
bullet The Harvest of Fish festival takes place at Mar del Plata.  People dress up as sea creatures and parade along with the Queen of the Sea (

Dance and Music:

     Argentina has received worldwide fame for their native dance--the tango (see picture below).  Immigrants from Africa and Europe brought the tango with them when they visited the brothels in Argentina in the 1880's.  Thus, the tango was originally a dance for the lowest classes in Argentina.  Although the exact origin is still argued most believe that the tango was created by African slaves.  By the early 20th century, the lower classes gained the right to vote and began to influence others.  Thus, the tango became more popular and all classes of Argentine society engaged in it.  When the tango hit Paris it was transformed into a dance which represented the high societies of Argentina. 

     Most of the popular music in Argentina has been influenced by the music which was created to accompany the tango.  For example, singer Carlos Gardel who wrote lyrics for the tango became very popular and remains a legend even today.  American pop music is one of the most popular forms of music in current Argentine culture (








Art and Literature:

The artistic world in Argentina is very prominent due to the European influences that have entered into society.  The most famous literary writers in Argentina are Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Ernesto Sábasto, Manuel Puig and Osvaldo Soriano.  Buenos Aires has become the center of the thriving art community.  Most of the museums and theaters that individuals go to are located within the capital city (


Vegetarians Beware: Beef (or meat) is eaten for most meals in Argentina.  A mixture or "parrillada" which includes nearly every part of the cow--including the utter--is one of the favorite dishes.  The quality of beef in Argentina is so high in fact that the U.S. government has a not-widely known embargo on Argentine beef. On Sunday afternoons it is customary for Argentine families to engage in an Asado which translates to what we would refer to as a barbeque. All kinds of meat are prepared over a grill accompanied by native Argentine sauces. Spaghetti is also served at these family gatherings which is an important result of the strong Italian influence. The most popular desert in Argentina is the helado or ice cream. 

If you are in the mood for some Argentine food please visit the following website for recipes:


Argentina’s national sport is futbol, or rather, soccer.  It was introduced in the 1860’s by British soldiers.  Diego Maradona is one of the most famous Argentine soccer players.  However, his battles with drugs and the country have led him to be kicked off the Argentina National Soccer Team recently.  If you would like to know more about Argentine soccer please visit this website:







Pato, which means "duck", is a unique Argentine sport.  Pato was originally played by two teams on horseback using a duck in a leather pouch with handles. Two players would grab the handles and pull until one let go. The winning team would ride away, while the opposing team tried to stop them and grab the pato. The sport became dangerous and it was banned in 1882. In the late 1930s, the sport was revived with new rules. Now two teams of four men on horseback attempt to throw the modern pato, a leather ball with six handles, into one of two baskets at either end of a large field.

Horse racing is another popular spectator sport. Races are held throughout the year. The two most important events are the Argentine Republic Prize, held in April, and the Grand National in November.







Additionally, tennis was once a sport reserved for the wealthy until Argentine Guillermo Vilas did well in international competitions. Now it is played by young people throughout the country. Gabriela Sabatini was ranked as one of the top women tennis players during her teenage years.


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