A Buenos Aires New Year

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Buenos Aires New Year fireworksNew Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires is much like Christmas Eve, with families staying in to enjoy a special meal together, eating and drinking until late in the night. Clubs open well passed midnight and the most popular charge a ridiculous fee (120 pesos at Asia de Cuba.) Since New Years can often be a disappointment, all the pressure to have a fabulous night often means you don’t, I decided I would just take it easy and stay close to home with some good friends. In the end the night turned out to be a magical and memorable way to fest in the New Year.

I don’t actually know when the new year arrived, the exact moment when the clock struck midnight and 2007 was ushered in. After drinking several bottles of champagne with an intimate circle of international friends at my apartment, we wandered into the cobblestone streets of San Telmo with a mere ten minutes left till the year turned over. There was no count down, no scramble to find someone special to kiss, no drunken mumbling of the unknown words of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ The scene was more akin to a fourth of July celebration, families, friends, people of all ages gathered in the warm night to watch fireworks explode all around. Children set off startlingly loud firecrackers, and sparklers were passed around, filling the night with their glittering charm. All around in the distance colorful explosions of colossal fireworks marked the arrival of a new year, and new possibilities.

The excitement and energy was palpable, and we all cheered and laughed, eventually deciding that it must be passed midnight and exchanging hugs and kisses with friends and strangers alike. We decided to roam the streets with the locals, and stumbled upon a makeshift block party. From the window of a ground floor apartment in one of San Telmo’s timeless old buildings, a small sound system was pointed into the street and was bumping Latin music hits for all to enjoy. We joined the dancing revelers and made quite a scene with our attempts at salsa dancing.

The truth is that on almost any night of the year you can go to a big club and dance and drink with young beautiful Portenos, and it is fun. But for this one night of the year it was truly special to be a part of a community celebration, complete with young kids and old couples, locals, tourists, and ex-pats. We danced for hours until slowly people started to drift, going to continue the festivities at other parties or clubs, dragging their tired feet home to sleep, or wandering into the night with new lovers. As the pink clouds started to light up with the sunrise on the first morning of 2007, I thought that no matter what this year has in store, it started out amazing, and hopefully will only get better. Happy New Year!

One Comment

gmc on November 30, 07

i am a native argentine
who lived in the united states
for thirty years
but i fail to see why
the following replies
would make any sense
to a foreigner who says
thank you to any american
and receives one of these
common replies

you are welcome
it´s nothing
don´t mention it
forget it
for what
forget about it

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