In Argentina, preparations for Christmas starts very early in December and even in November. Several people in Argentina are Catholic and they also celebrate Advent. People of Argentina decorate beautifully with lights and wreaths of green, gold, red and white flowers. Red and white garlands are hung on the doors of houses. Christmas Trees are also very famous and they are often decorated by 8th December some people like to put cotton balls on the Christmas Tree to represent snow! Any tree might be made into a Christmas Tree - not just the traditional fir tree!
The Nativity scene or 'pesebre' is also an essential Christmas decoration in Argentina. The presence is put near to the Christmas tree. Christmas Cards aren't common in Argentina and although some people give and receive presents, it's normally only between close family and friends. The main Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve. Many Catholics will go to a Mass in the late afternoon.
The main meal Christmas is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve, often about 10 pm or 11 pm. It might be served in the garden or be a barbecue! Some popular dishes include roasted turkey, roasted pork (in northern Argentina, some people will have a goat), stuffed tomatoes, salads and Christmas bread and puddings like 'Pan Dulce' and Panetone.
At midnight there will be the sound of lots of fireworks! People also like to 'toast' the start of Christmas day. Some people like to go to midnight services, but others prefer to stay at home and let off fireworks and then open their presents under the tree.
Another Christmas Eve night tradition is 'global', paper decorations with a light inside that float into the sky (like Chinese Lanterns). The sky is filled with them on Christmas Eve after midnight. Some people stay awake all the night chatting and seeing friends and family and then spend most of Christmas Day sleeping. In Argentina the main language spoken is Spanish (still called Castellano by Argentines), so Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Feliz Navidad'