Gauchos are commonly referred to as the cowboys of Argentina and they have had a huge influence on the country via their vibrant cultural traditions. A great thrust to Argentina’s economic system has been provided by the livestock industry and Gauchos were the first to utilize the vast grazing lands of Argentina for breeding cattle. These days tourists can witness Gaucho culture during a visit to Argentina.
Argentina’s country side areas like parts of Pampas or Central Andes provide the best opportunities to those willing to know more about Gauchos and their lifestyle. Like the traditional cowboys of U . S .A, during days of old the Gaucho cowboys lived on the edge of the colonies and led a totally independent life free from any sort of control exerted by law. When the colony grew, landholders moved out to the Pampas to raise livestock. Many gauchos then worked tirelessly on these large farms.
Typical gaucho dress included a poncho, loose trousers and high leather boots. Other essential gaucho dress included a long knife and stones that were bound in strips of leather termed as a boleadora. The main use of this was to bound and trip up cattle legs. Today, the actual gauchos might be found more commonly in jeans but there are many festivals where you can see them in full dress.
Initially, the gauchos were looked down on however, after joining the fight against Spain, they became romantic figures. There is festival conducted on 16th June every year for celebrating and honoring Gouchos owing to the valor they had exhibited during the fight to attain independence. In Salta, fires are lit around the monument of the general who led them into battle and on the 17th, the day the general passed away, there’s a gaucho parade in his honor.
Asado is a special kind of barbecue item that has been made famous by gaucho people throughout Argentina and this dish is loved in many areas all around the globe. These cowboys lived a nomadic life wherein they would butcher wandering cattle for their food. Once butchered, it would be cooked right away over an open flame.
San Antonio de Areco which is situated at a distance of approximately 70 miles from Buenos Aires is the most suitable area for people who want to dwell deep into the gaucho culture and their lifestyle. It’s regarded as the centre of gaucho culture and even has a museum, Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Guiraldes that possesses several restored or created structures designed to illustrate the gaucho life of the past.
If you’re really interested in this aspect of Argentine culture, you’ll want to go there for the Dia de la Tradicion, organized in the first two weeks of November. The particular date moves, so you will have to check to make sure of the particular day it will be held. On this day, there will be many exhibits held such as horsemanship, folk dancing and artisan exhibitions.
San Jose de Jachal is yet another place where this festive spirit can be seen but the magnitude of the occasion is toned down when compared to other well known tourist spots in Argentina. Interestingly this town has been titled Cuna de la Tradicion or Cradle of Custom owing to the fact that the area has been a key player in making sure that age old traditions of gaucho culture are kept vibrant and alive. Located in the wine producing region of Argentina, it is surrounded by vineyards.
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