Buenos Aires Travel Planet

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Buenos Aires carnival

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Carnival Time in Buenos Aires

February and March are the months when the wide avenues of Buenos Aires, one of the most European influenced cities of Latin America, is turned into a catwalk for vibrant carnival parades.

The carnival tradition has been celebrated in Buenos Aires since 1771, with its popularity reaching its peak in the 20th Century. The celebrations were prohibited during the military dictatorship in the 1970s, but, thankfully, the festivities were brought back again in the 1990s. Each year 17,000 people from the 100 different troupes of dancers and bands from various neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires take to the streets armed with cymbals, whistles and drums. The parades take place every weekend from the end of February and carry on until the second week of March. Crowds of Porteños line the streets, to watch the dancers perform energetic and acrobatic dancing.

The troupes from each neighbourhood all dance in unison to carefully choreographed routines. The participants all handstand, jump and dance in time to the beat of the big banging drums and cymbals. The dancing bands, or ‘murgas,’ each have names that you’ll see embroidered on their costumes. For instance, ‘Los Cometas de Boedo’ ‘the Boedo comets’ and ‘Los verdes de Montserrat,’ ‘the Montserrat greens.’

carnival buenos aires

The carnival costumes are not like the typical ones with tiny glittery bikinis that you see in Rio de Janeiro carnaval. Instead, in Buenos Aires, men and women alike wear the same costume, which usually includes a top hat, long tail coat and cane. There is also an obvious circus influence in the style, with clown-like performers wearing brightly coloured satin costumes covered in sequins and a few feathers. Go to the Buenos Aires travel index for activities and attractions.

The parades take place in the most neighbourhoods all over Buenos Aires. Listed below are the locations of the parades that take place in the most accessible and well-known areas of the city.

· Abasto: Av. Córdoba between Agüero and Sanchez de Bustamante

  • Almagro: Av. Corrientes between Medrano and Bulnes
  • Colegiales 1: Av. Federico Lacroze between R. Freire and Martínez
  • Colegiales 2: Av. Federico Lacroze between Freire and Conesa
  • Colegiales 3: Benjamin Matienzo between Conesa and Zapiola
  • Palermo: Darwin between Gorriti and Cabrera
  • Parque Centenario: Lambaré between Corrientes and Bogado
  • San Telmo: Av. San Juan between Defensa and Peru
  • Villa Crespo: Av. Scalabrini Ortiz between Av. Corrientes and Velasco.

When planning a trip to Argentina it’s useful to take into account the celebrations and festivals that are going on during the year. The Porteño Carnaval makes February the perfect time to come and appreciate the country’s fascinating mix of Latin American and European cultures.

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