If you happen to find yourself celebrating Easter in Argentina this year, then you’re in luck! Whether you’re a traveler in town for the holiday, a student studying abroad, or an expat just settling down in South America, we want to make sure you stay in the know regarding Argentine Easter celebrations and traditions.
1. Travel during Semana Santa
It’s important to know that Argentina is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, so naturally, many people look forward to the Easter holiday each year. Holy Week, also called Semana Santa, is a very festive time throughout Argentina, whether for religious purposes or simply to celebrate the arrival spring.
Now we will talk about the perfect places to celebrate Easter in Argentina: Bariloche.
2. Bariloche for Easter Holidays
Bariloche, in Patagonia, is without doubts the most recommended destination for an Argentine Eastern Holiday. And there is a simple, yet very important, reason: Bariloche is where the best Argentinian chocolate is made! Exclusive chocolate blends with local berry flavors, and all the chocolate bunnies you dream… plus hiking and soft adventure tours all over the place. Finally, Bariloche features during Easter Holidays the Chocolate Fest!
To sum up, we have made a list of our favorite trips to visit Bariloche and help you taste one of the best chocolates in the world. And don’t forget: Bariloche is an all-year round destination for traveling:
- Bariloche and The lake District – 4 days to see Bariloche downtown, Circuito Chico and Llao Llao Forest.
- Bariloche Adventure – 4 days to explore classic Bariloche and go for soft adventure tours like kayaking and hiking.
- Self-drive to Argentina Lake District – 6 days to drive through the Seven Lakes Route, from Bariloche to San Martín de los Andes.
- Patagonia, Wine & Falls – 12 days to visit Bariloche, but also Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazú!
3. Eastern traditions in Argentina
To help navigate the upcoming holiday, we have compiled a guide of everything you need to know leading up to one of the main event. Follow along and let us know if there are any other tips you would suggest!
Switch to Fish
Throughout Lent, the 40-day period that ends on Easter Sunday, many Argentines refrain from eating meat on Fridays, as do many other Catholics around the world. Bacalao con garbanzos is a popular meat-free stew made of salt cod, chickpeas, and fresh vegetables like spinach and tomato (recipe here). You can also expect empanadas to get a new spin during this time, substituting beef and chicken with tuna, vegetables, and cheeses (we recommend Roquefort or Mozzarella). You can find these special empanadas all throughout the country, just ask for “empanadas de viglia.”
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Candy and sweets are traditional staples of the Easter holiday, both here in Argentina and around the world. During the holiday, relatives oftentimes exchange hollow chocolate eggs which are called huevos de Pascua. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, then make sure you try rosca de Pascua. This sweet treat is a favorite in Argentine culture, and the dessert consists of a ring-shaped bread cake topped with custard-like pastry cream and garnishes like fresh fruit, nuts, syrups, and sometimes you will discover a real egg in the center. You can find these for sale at many bakeries and markets, but if you feel like baking your own, you can find a great recipe here. And if you happen to find yourself in Bariloche, don’t miss their annual Easter Chocolate Festival! This year, they will give out more than 12,000 chocolate eggs and reveal the world’s largest chocolate bar (nearly 500 feet long, or 150 meters).
Slow Down and Celebrate
While most schools are closed down during Semana Santa, many businesses also shut their doors on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, known respectively as Jueves Santo and Viernes Santo. This allows friends and families to focus on spending time together, preparing for the upcoming holiday, and reflect on the religious significance of Easter Sunday. So if you’re one of those people that tends to wait until the last minute, make sure all of your Easter preparations are in order before the end of the week, otherwise you may be out of luck!
The Main Event
Come Easter Sunday, you can practically feel the buzz of excitement in the air. For many, the day begins with morning mass at church, which is typically followed by a traditional asado lunch. It’s common for these lunches to last multiple hours. Some of the specialties you can anticipate include picadads (bite-sized portions of assorted meats and cheeses), ensaladas, and of course, meat – everything from chorizo, chicken, beef, and lamb. And whatever you do, don’t forget the Malbec!
To sum up, wherever you go there will be some kind of special festivity, for this very special holiday and celebration!
Want to plan a trip to Bariloche or Argentina to celebrate Easter this year? Contact us and we will tailor your dream trip.