Easter is perhaps the biggest Catholic celebration throughout they year. And, while there are enough super-sweet desserts and Malbec (a dark, sweet grape used to make fruity, juicy wine) all year long, to dig into while you play, because, you know, some Canadians love to gamble, Easter is a time when you can taste some very specific dishes and desserts in the country.
Although you might think that most Argentinians eat a lot of beef, they often enjoy other types of meat, too. Especially during the Lent, when many prefer light dishes with fish and vegetables. Some people don’t eat any meat on Fridays all year long, in the Catholic tradition.
During this time of the year you’ll most likely stumble upon empanadas with an Easter twist. Called empanadas di vigila, this version is filled with tuna instead of meat. On Viernes Santo (Holy Friday) the traditional meal is a stew with no meat, but salted cod. When the big day finally comes, the locals celebrate with traditional delicacies, like barbecued lamb and chocolate eggs (huevos de pascua). The traditional dessert of this time of the year is Rosca de Pascuas, a cake similar to a brioche, with custard and fruits.
Easter is a four-day celebration in Argentina. The shops and schools of the country close on Jueves Santo, preparing for the celebration of the biggest holiday in the Catholic world. During the Semana Santa (Holy Week) thousands of locals make a pilgrimage to Tandil, to visit the Via Crucis, with 14 stone carvings that depict the Stations of the Cross.
Many cities and villages organize Easter festivals during this time of the year, re-enacting various events of the life of Jesus Christ. Carnivals are also organized to bring happiness and joy into the lives of the locals, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus to this world.
The Semana Santa is one of the most significant celebrations in Argentina, given that 85% of the country’s population is Catholic. The dedication of the believers might be even greater this year, given that we have an Argentinian Pope, Francis. He is planning to visit the country this year, albeit not around Easter – according to the currently available information, Francis will most likely travel to his home country this May or June.
Easter is still far away, the 40 day Lent is set to commence soon. People will surely be looking forward to finally bringing out the grills and barbecue the traditional lamb – or, why not, beef – on Easter Sunday. And, while there will be no visit from the Easter Bunny, like in many other countries, the locals will make up for his absence with sweets and chocolate eggs.