Argentina does a lot right, especially when it comes to their holidays. Basically there’s a holiday every two or three weeks, in which schools and most businesses close. Families go to the parks to drink mate, play soccer, or rollerblade around the lake in the Bosques de Palermo. During April, I actually only had one full week of school (not complaining!), and with so much to do in Buenos Aires, it was great having an extra day to study or explore the city.
The holidays this month included: Veteran’s Day, Holy Thursday and Good Friday of Semana Santa, and Labor Day. Best of all, we had a surprise holiday because of a city-wide strike that happens each year. The strike, in which citizens denounce inflation and strive for economic opportunities, closes down all forms of public transportation. The strike wasn’t violent but instead just inconvenient… and also wonderful at the same time. Since the buses and subways are used by nearly everyone in the city, it’s impossible to get to work or school without them or to find an available taxi. To a Wisconsin girl, this “strike day” reminded me of a snow day back home (but with wayyy better weather). The streets were incredibly calm without buses zooming down the avenues. And even despite the transportation inconveniences, the strike was a chance for families to spend time together, having afternoon tea or exploring the parks and museums within walking distance. MALBA, the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires, was open during the strike, so my friend and I saw the photography by Mario Testino and the famous paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. The art was so beautiful and creative and the perfect way to end our “strike day.”
Whether traveling or relaxing, I always look forward to the Argentine holidays. Through them, I’ve learned about the country’s history and explored the country’s beauty. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating every week.