Argentina boasts one of the best carnivals in the entire continent. Some of the country’s carnival celebrations are heavily influenced by the original carnivals of Brazil, while others feature important historical elements. Each of the carnival festivals tells a unique story that deserves to be heard and witnessed in person.
We accompany you to get to know the 5 Best Carnivals in Argentina.
The Carnival of thecapital city of Argentina is one of the most anticipated events in the city. The festivities have been taking place in 25 de Mayo since the 19th century. Initially, carnivals were celebrated like many other parts of Europe and Latin American countries, with water, egg and flour wars. However, over the years, events such as the Corso de las Flores, parades and music were introduced. It was not until 1960 when the first commissions that organized and executed the carnivals were created.
The celebration of Carnival in the capital of Argentina is full of music, colors, parades and Queens of Carnival. The election and crowning of the Queens of the Carnival of May 25 is an important matter, since it has a long tradition that began in 1970. Likewise, the queens are also part of the big parades in the corsódromo of the city. This corsódromo is located on Boulevar Valmarosa and can hold up to 6,000 spectators, who come from all over the city and the country to watch the comparsas parade on the track.
Everyone congregates at the city’s corsódromo to watch the 3 official comparsas parade with amazing costumes and floats. On the corsódromo runway, dozens of dancers pass by in colorful costumes covered with feathers and glitter. In addition, the large and thematic floats accompany the main figures of the comparsas, illuminating everything in their path.
The Carnival of 25 de Mayo in Buenos Aires takes place during the traditional carnival dates, being celebrated between the months of January and February and even extending until the first week of March. The tentative date for the Carnavales de 25 de Mayo is from January 18 to February 24, with parades taking place on Saturdays.
The Tilcara Carnival is one of a group of celebrations held around the Quebrada de Humahuaca, located in Jujuy. The event is one of the most interesting and mystical that occur throughout Argentina. In addition, it is considered one of the oldest original carnivals in the region, as they are a fusion between native traditions with European festivities.
The Carnival in the area of the Quebrada de Humahuaca began before the pre-Inca period, before the establishment of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. With the establishment of the Incas, the Pacha Mama worship practices were introduced. Finally, with the arrival of the Spanish colonists, a syncretism of cultures was created between the Indians, Creoles and Spaniards.
The celebration of the Carnival of Tilcara lasts for 9 days where a great number of events take place. The Tilcara Carnivals are celebrated with rites of worship or commemoration to the Pacha Mama, food and drinks abundant, dances and parades. One of the most outstanding events of the celebration is the Desentierro del Diablo or Desentierro del Carnaval. People congregate at the foot of the Quebrada to perform some ceremonies to the Pacha Mama and dig up a carnival doll that was buried the previous year. The whole event is accompanied by the “diablitos”, people who wear colorful costumes with masks, drink and a war of talcum powder, foam and flour.
The Tilcara Carnival will take place approximately from February 11 to 16.
The city of Villa Ángela is located in the province of Chaco, located in southwestern Argentina. Carnival began to form part of the city in 1950 and features elements similar to the Brazilian carnivals. Like the festivities of its sister cities, Villa Ángela’s carnival takes place mainly in the corsódromo, where the comparsas parade with costumes and floats.
The Carnivals of Villa Angela, also known as Super Carnivals, have become one of the main festivities of the region. Although the main spectacle is the parade of official comparsas, Villa Ángela also includes children’s events in its programs. The children of the city have the opportunity to parade through the corsódromo with costumes and floats, just like the professional comparsas.
A total of 9 comparsas are the ones that actively participate in the parades of the corsódromo. Each one of these comparsas must compete to acquire the title of winners for that carnival season. The groups give their all to show off in all aspects of the parades, taking into account the costumes, the musical pieces, the choreographies and the carrozas. Generally, these parades are held once a week until all the comparsas have performed.
The Villa Angela Carnival takes place during the traditional carnival months; that is, between the months of February and March. In addition, parades are held once a week until all the groups or comparsas have performed.
The border city of Paso de los Libres, located in the province of Corrientes is the epicenter of one of the most epic carnivals in all of Argentina. The carnival in Paso de los Libres has been celebrated since the 19th century, being held mainly by independent organizations and residents of the area. In the mid-20th century, the carnival began to be strongly influenced by the original Brazilian carnivals, acquiring elements such as costumes, dance rhythms and even, creating samba schools. Due to the great importance of the carnival, in 2008, the city built its own corsódromo, where the parades have been held to date.
The Carnival of Paso de los Libres, also known as Carnaval de Frontera, has a rather remarkable Brazilian theme, considering that most of the events take place in the city’s corsódromo. The celebration can be divided into two forms: The Special Carnival and the Popular Carnival. The popular carnival are the minor parades and are held for three consecutive days. In addition, it is free admission, so everyone can access the performances. The Special Carnival takes place with days in between and are performed by the largest and most popular samba schools in the city.
The comparsas performing in the Popular Carnival are: Renacer Libreño, Bella Flor, Esplendor, Imperatriz, Armonia de Samba and Catamarca. The comparsas performing in the Special Carnival are: Carumbé, Zum Zum and Tradición. Each of the presentations has a large number of members per group. In this way, each group must perform a repertoire of dances accompanied by musical pieces. The elements that stand out most in the show are the large, colorful floats and the impressive costumes of each of the participants.
The Gualeguaychú Carnival is undoubtedly the best and most popular carnival in the whole country. The festivities are held in the city of Gualeguaychú, Entre Ríos province, near the border of Uruguay. Carnivals have been present in the city since the 19th century. During the date, carnivals were not well regarded by the authorities, so they were heavily censored and banned for a period of time. By the year 1876 the first carnival commission emerged, which governed and directed the choirs of the festivities.
The Carnival of the Country or simply Carnival of Gualeguaychú has elements highly influenced with the Brazilian carnivals, especially with the Carioca or Rio de Janeiro carnivals. The celebrations take place in the city’s corsódromo, where the professional comparsas that are part of the official organization of the carnivals perform. These parades are held once a week, on Saturdays and carnival holidays.
The comparsas that perform at the corsódromo are formed by several groups, associations and sports societies of the city. These comparsas perform for the title of winners of the season and perform their repertoires of dance and music at the city’s corsódromo. The most striking elements of the festivities are the imposing carnival costumes and the big themed floats. The Gualeguaychú Carnival manages to attract more than 30,000 people every year every year.