If you happen to be travelling to Cordoba, Argentina over the next couple of days (between the 28th Sept. and 8 Oct. to be exact) you might be surprised to find yourself surrounded by people in Lederhosen, eating Bratwurst and sipping gallons of German Beer!
Believe it or not, Argentina has its very own Oktoberfest! The Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza is celebrated every year in Villa General Belgrano in the country’s central Province of Cordoba.
The festival started off as a local celebration in the 1960’s and a way for the German immigrant community in Cordoba to commemorate the Oktoberfest, the pagan ritual that originated in Munich over five centuries ago.
Over the years the Oktoberfest in Villa Belgrano has grown into a full blown international event, attracting up to fifty thousand visitors every year, who travel to the heart of Argentina to join in on the popular celebrations.
Held in one of Argentina’s most beautiful regions, the Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza is celebrated over eleven intense days, every year in the first weeks of October, to coincide with the Argentine national holiday of Dia del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (which this takes place this year on Monday the 8th Oct, making the last weekend of the Oktoberfest an extended bank holiday weekend!). The national holiday commemorates the date on which Columbus arrived on America’s shores, and where the first contact between South American and European cultures was made.
This is why the Argentine version of the Oktoberfest has a major focus on cultural diversity; especially when the celebrations move – from Villa Belgrano’s especially designed beer garden – into the city centre and the daily parades of the different immigrant communities’ march through the streets, brightening up the city centre. Delegations from Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, the Canary Islands, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Portugal, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Armenia and Ukraine show off their typical costumes, serve up their country’s culinary specialties, broadening the cultural spectrum of the festival.
So, as you can see the Oktoberfest is about so much more than just beer and there is a great variety of entertainment. There’s something for lone travellers looking for a party and wanting to meet new people and there’s also plenty of options ideal for the whole family, if you’re travelling to Argentina with kids.
In the beer garden there are several stands with traditional German specialties such as delicious Frankfurt sausages, the mandatory leber-wurst, smoked pork ribs and the well-known sausages with Sauerkraut.
And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you have to try the traditional selva negra cake (chocolate sponge cake with cream and cherries) and the of course the famous and delicious Apfelstrudel.
Even if you don’t visit the Oktoberfest in Cordoba, Argentina, this time of year is a great time to travel to Cordoba, the heartland of Argentina! This region is hugely distinct from Argentina’s Southern Patagonia or Northern Provinces such as Salta, right in the centre of Argentina, with one of the most picturesque and naturally beautiful landscapes in the country.
For more things to do and see in Cordoba, including trips to Calamuchita, La Cumbrecita and Punilla Valley, take a look at our catalogue of tours and activities in Cordoba!