Here we continue from Part 1 of our Friendship Day, Dia Del Amigo article.
The holiday is something that Argentines celebrate every July 20. Versions of this holiday exist around the world, but it is most intensely celebrated in Latin America.
Wikipedia has a definition and origin piece about the holiday, but I personally don’t fully agree with what the free encyclopedia says about it. In fact, every Argentine I know points to the holiday having an American origin, and are surprised that we don’t celebrate it in the United States.
Most friends tell me the holiday began on July 20, 1969. That date represents one of America’s most important achievements. It’s when we put a man on the moon during the Apollo 11 Space Mission, which we detail here in this About.com article. Television sets all over the world were turned in to see it. The world was united in a way that it never has been since to see this, and that is how friendship day was born.
Here is more advice, continuing from Part 1 of what a few friends of mine had to say they had planned and love about the holiday.
One of my favorite friends in the tango world, Helen LA VIKINGA Halldorsdottir, a native of Iceland now living in Buenos Aires near Congreso, told me, “the best thing about the Friendship Day is that I try to meet all my best friends by inviting them to a dinner at my own house, and often giving them some small gifts.” Helen is always traveling, and got her nickname from being from the land of the Vikings, and her striking blonde hair.
Marcos Wolff, a long-time friend with a passion for making sure visitors enjoy and see secret things in Argentina who works at the travel company Encounter Argentina, said, “I live in Buenos Aires and what I like most about Dia del Amigo here is that despite the fact of probably being busy during the entire year, this is the only time when I got to see all my close friends together for lunch or dinner.
There's a certain lovely feeling of happiness and emotion in the air during the day in parks or at night in bars, restaurants or discotheques. I work at Encounter Argentina and we play a kind of secret Santa called "amigo invisible" to commemorate this date, as well as choosing one day to enjoy lunch all together.”
Sol Linares, an Argentine native with Wine Tour Urbano said about Friendship Day, “Here in Argentina we make out the friendship a cult. We love having friends, one of our main traditions is sharing a mate, a sort of a tea but that is drunk with the same straw for everyone. The drink also defines us, we like sharing, chatting and being there. Friendship Day is an excuse for us to celebrate our most important thing besides family, because for us, friends are the family you choose. That day you meet the people closest to you but before and after you also get together with sort of second degree friends so you get to see everyone you love. We exchange presents, make a toast - many actually - and, as growing and starting each one a family you make sure that at least once a year you’ll see them.”
Gabriel Miremont, the curator of the Museo Evita, which as any reader of this site knows, is one of my favorite places in Argentina, had this to say about Friendship Day.
“For Dia Del Amigo, it’s traditional to meet up or have dinner or lunch in the house of a best friend. An asado, a meal, without girlfriends, or partners, just friends. If you reserve a table at the Museo Evita’s restaurant, we have a fantastic menu for Friendship day. Those who are good friends make special gifts. Each person passes this day as a big festivity with their true friends. It’s a day of many parties in Buenos Aires.”
Gabriel Oliveri, from the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, one of the city’s most elegant hotels in the Recoleta district that we list in this article, said, “my favorite thing about Friendship Day in Argentina is that we live we live with passion and friendship is not an exception! Our friends are the chosen family. This date is a great excuse for having dinner with your dearest friends, and everything is a celebration.
The restaurants and bars are full. At Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires on Saturday and Sunday we will celebrate in our new restaurants Elena and Nuestro Secreto and in our new Pony Line bar, the hot spots in town!”
So that is what some of my friends are planning to do for Friendship Day in Argentina. If you’re traveling, especially with friends, I hope you’ll find a way to celebrate it too!
Click here for Part 1 of the Dia Del Amigo Friendship Day in Argentina Article.