The History and Celebration of Oktoberfest in Argentina
Oktoberfest in Argentina? That’s right! The famous historical festival from Germany is a huge event in Argentina, too!
After World War II, Germans immigrated not only to Argentina, but also to other South American countries like Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, and Spain.
Argentina’s Oktoberfest is the largest in Latin America after Munich and Blumenau, Brazil.
Read this blog post to explore the origin of the traditional German event and find out how it came to South American countries like Argentina, Chile, and Peru! Join me as I dive into this fascinating festival in Argentina.
A Brief History of Oktoberfest in Argentina
The Oktoberfest celebration originated in Germany and gradually made its way to America. Here’s the short story of how it arrived in Argentina!
On October 12, 1810, Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony Hildburghausen married in Bavaria. This event sparked a major celebration in Germany.
With horse races and high attendance, they began an annual tradition. In 1811, they gave agriculture a chance to thrive by adding an agricultural show. Later in 1818, they officially included beer stands and family attractions like carousels.
The festival only grew year after year, drawing more attendees, including more traditions, and boasting larger food and drink stands.
German Immigration to Argentina
Now, you’re wondering, how did this festival end up in Argentina? Let me elaborate!
Because Argentina remained neutral during World War II, former Nazi and S.S. officials sought refuge in this region after the war ended. Moreover, former President Juan Peron even paved the road for them to escape Europe and land safely in his country.
Over 9,000 former officials migrated to South America. Argentina was the country with the most Germans, with over 5,000.
The best-known refugee was Adolf Eichmann, a brutal Nazi who was responsible for conducting the transport of Jews to concentration camps. Under the pseudonym Ricardo Klement, he arrived in Argentina seeking protection. There, Israeli secret service agents abducted him.
Oktoberfest in Argentina
Due to the large German population in the country, Oktoberfest surfaced in the city of Cordoba in 1963.
Later in 1972, Argentina declared this festival a Fiesta Nacional (national celebration) but it wasn’t until 2016 that they built a special venue for it—Beer Village.
Located in el Bosque de los Pioneros (Pioneer’s Forest) in Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba, the annual dates for Oktoberfest in Argentina are usually October 4-14.
La Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza (the National Beer Festival) gathers tons of Argentinians to spend their days listening to music and enjoying food and drinks with their friends and family.
There’s a wide range of music for everyone to enjoy during the festival including orchestras, central European music, dances, and regional bands!
Attendees enjoy German gastronomy, such as Frankfurter sausages, sauerkraut, and smoked pork ribs, as well as European pastries such as pastel selva negra (Black Forest gâteau) and apple pie strudel.
The main event during Oktoberfest in Argentina is the Ceremonia del Espiche (Form Ceremony). It consists of the crowd getting their beer mugs ready for the major foam explosion after they have shaken up the huge keg on the stage.
Another major event is the parade where they showcase the local orchestra “Die Bier musikanten” (The Beer Musicians) and Nordic delegations prepare locals with typical costumes of countries including Germany, Denmark, Scotland, and Sweden.
Additionally, they choose la Reina Nacional de la Cerveza (the National Beer Queen).
Visit Córdoba, Argentina
If you are planning on visiting Argentina and heading to Cordoba, check out these beautiful sites!
Cathedral of Cordoba
This majestic church is one of the oldest one in the country. Its construction began in 1598 with the labor work of indigenous artisans.
Although it collapsed once in 1677, it reopened in 1709. This is a must-see architectural masterpiece!
Plaza de San Martín
Named in honor of General Jose de San Martín, the city’s square holds street performers and vendors. Sit back, drink coffee, and relax in this gorgeous town square.
To learn more about the history of Jose de de San Martín, read Argentina Celebrates San Martín Day to Honor a Founding Father of Latin America.
This vast public park is the perfect spot to wind down and enjoy your alone time or a nice chat with your travel buddies.
If you’re looking for the complete Argentine experience, find a traveler’s kit to prepare a mate and set up a picnic to chill on the grass.
Evita Fine Arts Museum
Dating back to 1912, this palace is right next to Parque Sarmiento. Its original owner, Dr. Martin Ferreyra, chose this particular spot for its proximity to the park.
Nowadays, it is home to sculptures, art exhibits, and an antique library.
Village La Cumbre
This stunning small town has wonderful architecture. Stay in a gorgeous cabin specially designed for tourists to wind down and take in the nature around them.
Fascinated by South America? Check out: Paraguay: A South American Gem for Travelers
Prepare for Argentina
While traveling the world is one of the most compelling activities I can think of, I am positive there are many ways to improve a trip! Prepare for your next trip to Argentina or any other Spanish-speaking country by becoming familiar with the language! The better you speak Spanish, the easier it will be to communicate with the locals and get the full travel experience!
Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy today! Our online academy offers 1-to-1 classes with our friendly, certified, native-speaking teachers from Guatemala. Become a confident speaker by learning vocabulary words, grammar basics, and, most importantly, by engaging in real-life conversations!
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