Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 8: Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina 
Well here we are, back in the Americas. Spanish is spoken in Argentina just like in Mexico, so we already know how to say "Merry Christmas" (Feliz Navidad).

The Christmas season here starts early-sometimes even in November. Many people in Argentina are Catholic, so they celebrate Advent. People decorate their houses with lights and wreaths of green, gold, red, and white flowers. They also hang red and white garlands on the doors of their houses. Christmas trees are popular, and people often decorate them by December 8th, the day they celebrate the feast of Annunciation (the day that they remember when Mary was told that she was going to have Jesus).

Flan Leche de Dulce
The Nativity scene, or pesebre, in Spanish, is another important decoration to have, and it's usually put near the Christmas tree. The big meal at Christmas is actually eaten on the night of Christmas Eve, and it might even be a barbecue (yes, just like the Aussies). People like to have their big Christmas meal out in the open, so they often eat it out in their garden. And since it's warm, they can do that. They often eat roasted turkey or pork, stuffed tomatoes and Christmas bread and puddings like dulce. They also drink delicious cider.

Globos on Christmas Eve (like in Tangled :)
At midnight there are lots of fireworks that people light off to celebrate the beginning of Christmas Day. Some people go to a midnight church service, but others like to stay home, set off fireworks and open their presents. Globos, or paper decorations with a light inside that float into the sky, are popular in Argentina. The sky is filled with them on Christmas Eve after midnight.

Fun Facts 
*Christmas trees don't have to just be like the traditional tree in Argentina. Any kind of tree works-even a palm tree.

*It's warm during Christmas time in Argentina, so there isn't any snow, but people like to put cotton balls on their Christmas trees to look like snow instead.

*Kids get their presents on January 6th, the day that is know as "Three Kings Day." The night before kids place their shoes outside the front door so that the wise men can fill them. They also leave hay and water for the horses as the wise men continue journeying towards Bethlehem. Sometimes they also place their shoes underneath the Christmas tree or under their bed.

How to Make your own Christmas Cider
Hot apple cider is a common holiday drink in many places in the world, and Argentinians enjoy it at the end of their Christmas dinner. They also like to mix it with fruit, cut into little pieces. When you're done making it, put in little pieces of apple or even a small slice of orange.

* 1 quart apple juice
* 2 cups water
* 5 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 orange (sliced, with the skin on)
1. In a large pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.
2. Once it’s boiling, turn it to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes
or so.

Ladle the cider into mugs (it makes six cups), and don't forget to add chunks of apples or oranges if you are so inclined.

*All of the above information has been taken from the Wycliffe-created characters, Kate and Mack. If you would like to sign up for more children's activities, or learn about the book they feature in (Around the World with Kate and Mack), click on this link:

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