How My Family and I Celebrate the New Year in Argentina

Picture of two champagne glasses next to blog post title that reads: How My Family and I Celebrate the New Year in Argentina

As a fresh year dawns, New Year in Argentina brings with it a tapestry of traditions and festivities that make it a truly special time. For my family and me, this occasion is a cherished opportunity to come together, eat delicious food, and embrace the spirit of new beginnings. 

In this blog post, I’ll share the heartwarming details of how my family and I celebrate the New Year in Argentina. Plus, I’ll be teaching you Spanish vocabulary related to the New Year’s celebration.  

Gathering with Family and Indulging in a Delightful Dinner

At the heart of our New Year in Argentina celebration is the joy (la alegría) of reuniting with family (la familia). As the clock inches toward midnight (la medianoche), we gather at home to share stories, laughter, and anticipation for the year ahead. 

Savoring the Cold Dishes

The dinner table is adorned with an array of mouthwatering dishes that have become synonymous with New Year in Argentina. Traditionally, for New Year’s Eve we prepare a menu (el menú) keeping in mind the warm weather. Our main New Year’s dinner takes place on New Year’s Eve (la Noche Vieja), on December 31st at night.

Forget about soups, hot chocolate, and warm socks. In Argentina, we opt for cold dishes to ring in the New Year! Our dessert typically includes a scoop of ice cream. Moreover, we dress in white summer attire, complete with sandals or high heels.

Families often curate a menu featuring cold dishes. These include stuffed chicken, pionono (similar to a Swiss roll), matambre arrollado (stuffed rolled beef), and ensalada rusa (Russian salad). Often the dinner is similar to that of Christmas Eve. For dessert, some families put together an ensalada de frutas (fruit salad) and enjoy it with a scoop of helado de americana (ice cream). 

Another tradition is to eat raisins (pasas de uva). Eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, a tradition known as “las doce uvas de la suerte” in Spanish-speaking countries, symbolizes a hopeful start to the new year. Each grape represents a month in the coming year. As people make quick wishes or set intentions for each grape, they seek good luck and prosperity throughout the year. 

Toasting at the Stroke of Midnight

As the clock approaches midnight, our excitement mounts. With glasses of sparkling beverages (espumantes) in hand, we gather around to raise a toast to the incoming year. Typically, the whole family stands up and does the countdown (la cuenta regresiva) out loud. 

At midnight, everyone says “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!” (Happy New Year!) and we kiss, but not like in American movies, we all kiss on the cheek! Therefore, you get not one but many kisses. At the same time, we toast (brindamos) with our champagne glasses.

Marveling at the Fireworks Display

At the stroke of midnight, the sky erupts in a dazzling display of colors and lights. The fireworks (los fuegos artificiales) that illuminate the night sky symbolize the hope and promise of the year ahead. We watch the fireworks in awe and, at the same time, we try to call or text (llamar o mandar un mensajito de texto)  loved ones who celebrated the New Year somewhere else. 

Speaking of New Year messages, here’s a blog post on 23 Phrases in Spanish for Happy New Year Wishes

Creating Lasting Memories

Our New Year in Argentina celebration is not just a fleeting moment but a memory-making experience that lingers in our hearts. It’s a time to reflect on the past year’s journey, express gratitude for our blessings, and eagerly embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. I know lots of you also reflect on your new language goals. Here’s an interesting blog post on that topic: Learning a language? Include these 5 Resolutions for a successful New Year

Conclusion

New Year in Argentina has the three Fs: family, flavors, and festive spirits. As my family and I come together to celebrate, we savor the joy of togetherness, the richness of our culinary traditions, and the beauty of the new year’s beginning. From the delicious dishes to the midnight toast and the spectacular fireworks, our celebration is a heartfelt expression of gratitude, hope, and love. 

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures and stories of life in Argentina.

¿Y vos cómo celebrás el Año Nuevo? Dejame un comentario abajo. 

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¡Hola! Soy Melany

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I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Melany and I help language learners speak Argentine Spanish. I primarily teach Argentine slang and idioms, how to sound more natural and to speak Spanish with confidence.

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