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One of the more interesting aspects of traveling is seeing how other countries celebrate common holidays as it’s always eye-opening to compare and contrast the customs of each country with those of your own.  There is no other holiday that this applies to more than New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires as you might find that, although porteños enjoy ringing in the año nuevo as much as everyone else, they do so in a very distinct fashion.

Despite Buenos Aires’ well-deserved reputation as having a hopping night life, New Year’s Eve in the city isn’t as crazy as you might think.  One of the reasons for this is that many of the residents of Buenos Aires are from other parts of Argentina and therefore leave the city during the holiday season to be with their family, leaving the city with a slightly less number of residents who would be going out and partying in the New Year.

Another aspect of an Argentine New Year that differs from other countries is that it is more family oriented.  For example, a typical New Years Eve is spent with the family where the main feature of the fiesta is a large dinner that can last for a couple hours and the actual passing of the New Year when the clock strikes midnight (which is accompanied by a brindis and fireworks) is always spent with your relatives.  From there, porteños will then go to meet up with their friends and either go to a boliche (nightclub) or private party to celebrate the past year and talk about expectations of the upcoming one.

If you find yourself in Buenos Aires over the new year and are searching for options, I would suggest that you and your friends plan a late dinner (if you are going to eat out, make sure you make prior reservations) where you can all talk about your experiences in South America, the past year and where your travels will lead you in the upcoming months.  Check out our list of happenings in Buenos Aires on New Year’s Eve.  Afterwards, you can celebrate the New Year by dancing the night away at any of the hundreds of clubs in Buenos Aires, just be aware that boliches will be very crowded and hot due to the holiday and the fact that it is the peak of summer.

A couple of things to keep in mind before starting the festivities is that, like every night in Buenos Aires, you will most likely be out very late so get plenty of rest beforehand.  If you plan to light fireworks, do so with precaution – the hospitals are generally filled with people who are treating firework wounds.  In addition, clubs and bars will be very hot so make sure to drink plenty of water and do not over serve yourself.

¡Desde nosotros de Expanish, les deseamos un feliz año nuevo y nos vemos en 2011!