A few holidays and festivals are worth planning your trip around. The best source of information about these events is your local Argentina tourism office. The Buenos Aires Tourism Office (tel. 11/4313-0187; www.bue.gov.ar) also provides information on all of these events. For an exhaustive list of events beyond those included in this guide, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
Fiesta de las Murgas. Buenos Aires's version of Carnaval or Mardi Gras is not quite as colorful as Rio de Janeiro's but is still a lot of fun. Various neighborhoods have costumed street band competitions full of loud music and dancing. Every weekend in February.
Chinese Lunar New Year. Belgrano's Chinatown is small, but the dragon-blessing parade is a fun, intimate event that kids and adults are certain to enjoy. Beware of irresponsible firecracker users. The actual date of this holiday follows a lunar calendar. First Sunday of February.
Buenos Aires Fashion Week. Fashionistas will certainly enjoy this event. Design is important in the city, the first ever designated by UNESCO as a world design capital. Visit www.bafweek.com for more information. Last week of February.
Feria del Libro (Book Festival). This is one of the world's largest book festivals. Visit www.el-libro.org.ar for exact dates and the event schedule or call tel. 11/4370-0600. Late April to early May.
Buenos Aires Querible. Literally "lovable Buenos Aires," this event celebrates the history and neighborhoods of the city, with events spread throughout town. Visit www.buenosairesquerible.gov.ar for more information. Mid-July.
Exposicion Rural. Gaucho and estancia culture invades the urban center during this livestock and agricultural show. It's held in La Rural, an exposition center built expressly for the event. It also stars artisanal food purveyors. Visit www.exposicionrural.com.ar for more information. Late July.
Buenos Aires Fashion Week. In August, you'll find the fashionistas gathering once again, this time for the spring and summer collections. Visit www.bafweek.com for more information. Late August.
Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires. Theater lovers should try to visit during this 2-week event of international theater programs. Visit www.festivaldeteatroba.gov.ar or call tel. 11/4374-2829 for more information. September or October.
World Tango Festival. This celebration consists of a number of events across the city but is concentrated in the neighborhood of San Telmo. See www.mundialdetango.gov.ar for more information and exact dates. Early to mid-October.
National Gay Pride Parade. The parade route is along Avenida de Mayo. Visit the Comunidad Homosexual de Argentina website at www.cha.org.ar for updated information. Diversa, the national gay and lesbian film festival, usually occurs around this time. Check www.diversa.com.ar for the schedule. First Saturday in November.
Argentine Open Polo Championships. The world's biggest polo event, the Argentine Open Polo Championships, is held at the polo grounds in Palermo, near the Las Cañitas neighborhood. It attracts moneyed crowds from around the world, who get to mingle with visiting British royalty. Call the Argentine Polo Association (tel. 11/4343-0972) for more details. Late November to early December.
El Día Nacional de Tango. Always on December 11, this festival celebrates the birth of Carlos Gardel, the world's most famous tango crooner. Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida de Mayo are blocked off for live tango concerts and tango dancing in the street. This is Buenos Aires at its most magical.
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena). Though Argentina has little in the way of Christmas rituals, the mass at the Catedral Metropolitana is a beautiful spectacle. It is usually held at 10pm on Christmas Eve. In Argentina, December 24 is a more important day than December 25, and family dinners are held on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.