After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dia de la Inmaculada Concepcion

Today is a national holiday in Argentina--Dia de la Virgen, or Dia de la Inmaculada Concepcion. But what great luck that it falls on a Monday this year; if not, the feast of the Immaculate Conception would be changed to allow for a three-day weekend. And actually, I really don't understand the math since Christmas is only less than 3 weeks away. But hey! Religion and folklore and custom don't always jive.

As a foreigner, it's really interesting to me that today is a holiday with everything closed. At least here in Buenos Aires, there are very few people spending the day in prayer.

What IS important about today culturally speaking is that it's the national day to decorate for Christmas. It's an unwritten law that you can't put up your Christmas tree until today, and it doesn't matter how far ahead is Christmas, because all of the trees are plastic anyway. (Well except for mine, which wasn't easy to find, but is thriving on my terrace.)

It is so very hot that instead of decking the halls, the people who can, are in Mar Del Plata, cooling themselves on the beach. And I don't blame them.


Katie said...

I'd love to see a photo of your tree, Cherie!

Beatrice M said...

So, what I understand is that the Immaculate Conception is actually the conception of Mary (not Jesus as I thought), so that she can be born without Original Sin, so that she can be a pure vessel for the son of God. I got into a bit of a confusion over this with Kragen and he exclaimed: "What, are you telling me that a religious myth doesn't make sense?" /smirk

tangocherie said...

Oh thanks, Beatrice, for clearing that up and for providing the great link to Wikipedia.

Katie, yesterday was way too hot to bring the tree inside and decorate it, so I'll put up a pic when I can.

Last year I didn't have a camera. :(

Katie said...

Yes, thanks for that link, Beatrice!

Cherie, have you grown accustomed to celebrating Christmas in the summer?

tangocherie said...


Even though I'm from Southern California, I'm not used to feeling festive when it's so darned hot! My idea of holiday clothes are sweaters and velvet dresses, not white gauze shifts.

What's amazing to me, apart from the season reversal, is that how on this day, December 8, all the Christmas decorations are suddenly whipped out and set up like clockwork. Where here in Latin America you can't plan very far ahead or get uptight when things don't happen on time, those plastic trees shoot out of storage on December 8 and you can make book on it.

I hate plastic trees, but where it is so hot and few trees, it does make sense.

Because of the heat and the price of turkey, hardly anyone has roast turkey for Christmas dinner--but that makes sense too.