Get to grips with the Argentine Independence and learn how to celebrate on the 9th of July in traditional Argentine fashion with our helpful tips.The road to full independence in Argentina was not a quick, clear or easy one. The struggle for freedom from European rule was a long and hard slog, full of twists and turns and internal disputes too.
However, Argentines are proud of the fight for independence that their predecessors went through and this is clearly evident in all elements of daily life. If you are about to visit Buenos Aires as part of a vacation or intercultural exchange, you will soon recognize that road names, buildings and subway stations remember and celebrate past victories which form part of the full story behind Argentina’s Independence.
How did Argentina finally manage to free itself from European rule on the 9th of July, 1816? Keep reading for the most important facts and dates relating to the story and to learn how to celebrate the 9th of July like a true Argentine using our tips and insights into Argentine traditions and customs on this very special historic day.
The Road to Argentine Independence in Brief!
When most visitors hear the phrase “9 de julio,” they instantly picture the very wide road that they have to cross in order to get from one side of the Microcentro to the other. However, the 9th of July (9 de julio) is really a national icon which pays homage to the Argentine Independence.
A little history to get you up to speed…
1. The Spaniard Juan de Solís lands on the shores of the Plata in 1516 and is captured and killed.
2. In 1527, local natives destroy the small settlements called Sancti Spiritus and the failed explorers return to Spain.
3. In 1536, Pedro de Mendoza founds a settlement called Santa María del Buen Aire, today known as Buenos Aires.
4. In the late 1570’s forces from Paraguay establish Santa Fé in Argentina.
5. On 11 June 1580 Juan de Garay re-founds the settlement at Buenos Aires.
6. The British invade Buenos Aires in 1806 and again in 1807, but don’t manage to maintain control.
7. On 25 May 1810, the Buenos Aires Council depose the viceroy and the city forms its own tribunal.
8. Military campaigns led by General José de San Martín in Argentina and other South American countries between 1814 and 1817 make independence from Spain more probable.
9. On July 9th 1816, after Napolean’s defeat at Waterloo, the delegates meet in the Bazán family home, now the Casa Histórica de la Independencia museum, to finally proclaim their independence from Spanish rule.
References to Argentine Independence in the Nooks and Crannies of Buenos Aires
We have already highlighted the reference to the date of Independence itself, 9 de julio, but there are many other references to Argentina’s triumphant past all over the city of Buenos Aires. For example…
1. Avenida 25 de mayo (25th of May, when the Buenos Aires Council deposed the viceroy of Spain).
2. Avenida Juan de Garay (in remembrance of the founder of Buenos Aires).
3. Avenida Cabildo (in 1810, the first Argentine council was created in Buenos Aires).
4. Primera Junta Subway Station (in 1810 the city of Buenos Aires formed its very own tribunal).
5. Teatro San Martín on Avenida Corrientes (pays homage to General José de San Martín who led the military campaigns in Argentina).
The list could go on forever, but these particular references are more than enough to be getting on with visiting during your stay.
Traditional Celebrations in Argentina on the 9th of July
The most traditional way of celebrating the Argentine Independence of the 9th of July is to spend the day eating and drinking with family or close friends and, of course, the menu is very important.
On the 9th of July, it is customary to celebrate Argentina’s Independence by eating locro for the main course, pastelitos as dessert and to make sure that there is lots of red wine to hand in order to wash everything down with a smile.
Locro is a hot, tasty stew, made from corn, pumpkin, beans and meat – either beef or pork and sometimes, according to the region or the family recipe, chorizo (a traditional Argentine sausage) is added to the mix. It is full of nutrients and it is incredibly heavy. You will want to have a long nap after getting through a few bowls of locro with crusty bread served on the side.
For dessert, or even as an afternoon snack with a few mates (the traditional Argentine drink), the 9th of July is all about pastelitos. Always served sweet in Argentina, pastelitos are made from fried pastry and normally stuffed with jam or sweet potato puré. Ignore the diet on Independence Day because there is no way you will be able to turn down these wonderfully sweet delicacies. If you really want to pile on the calories, add the traditional churros and hot chocolate to the menu too.
Churros are like a very long doughnut, made with salted dough and dunked in hot chocolate on the 9th of July for good measure. Both churros and pastelitos can be bought from almost any bakery in Buenos Aires. When you finish everything off with a bottle or two of Argentine red wine, this national holiday simply cannot seem to get any better. If there’s one thing that Argentines do well, it is enjoy their national holidays to the max.
So, join in on the fun, head out into the city on the hunt for some Argentine Independent references and then eat until your burst! There are three locro-serving restaurants listed below.
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