In comparison to the U.S., Argentina seems to be a night owl culture. A typical Argentinian dinner time is 9 PM and weddings and other celebrations often last until dawn the next day.
Christmas festivities get started at midnight on Christmas Eve. While children in America are asleep so that Santa will come, Argentinian children are opening presents, eating dessert and watching fireworks until 2 a.m.!
Festive seems to be the word that describes Argentinian culture and their gift giving traditions. We stumbled upon some pretty unique gift giving traditions and festive celebrations to share.
Gift Wrap and Presentation: Unless you are gifting to someone in mourning, don't use black and purple gift wrap. Other than that, any gift wrap is safe-just make sure the gift is nicely presented and has a card.
Etiquette: Gifts are generally opened upon receiving so that the recipient can display gratitude.
Go to Gifts: When gifting to Argentina from the states, iPods and other electronics are very popular because steep import taxes make them expensive to buy there. Flowers are another go to gift.
Taboo Gifts: Knives represent the intent to sever a relationship. So unless this is your intent, don't ever gift knives. Also, Argentina takes pride in its wine so a gift of imported wine may be seen as offensive.
Business Gift Giving Standards: Business gifts are common but they should never be lavish or will be seen as bribery. It's more of a respectful gesture than an extravagant gift. Also, women don't give gifts to male business associates as it will be seen as flirting.
Historical Gift Giving: Silver was presented by the natives to Spanish explorer Juan Diaz de Solis as a token of friendship.
Gift Giving Occasions: Argentina has a population that is more than 90% Catholic, so gift giving occasions coincide closely with Catholicism.
*Hostess Gift: It's considered polite to bring a small hostess gift when invited to someone's house. Usually these gifts are flowers, candies, pastries or liquor.
* Birthday: Birthdays are full of gift giving and cake-eating. A fun tradition for children's birthdays is that friends and family members pull the child's earlobes for each year old they are.
The most extravagant birthday is fiesta de quince-the day a girl turns 15. This birthday celebrates her entrance into adulthood and a huge party is normally thrown and birthday gifts are more lavish than other birthdays.
* Weddings: Modernly, it's acceptable to ask for and to give cash as a wedding gift. Gifts for the couple's home are common as well.
*Christmas: Christmas Eve is most elaborate part of the Christmas holiday for most Argentinians. Most children open their presents at midnight and firework displays are common on Christmas Eve as well.
Jan. 6 marks the end of the Christmas season and is known as Three Kings Day or The Epiphany. Regardless of what one calls it, this day marks the day that the Magi or wise men visited the baby Jesus. On the eve of this day, children leave their shoes outside the door or by their bed to be filled by the Magi with small gifts.
*Baptisms and Christenings: Money, jewelry and religious memorabilia are all common baptism gifts. Pricier gifts are expected from the godparents.
*Enjoy this article? Click here to learn about gift giving in other parts of the world.