What’s different about Buenos Aires’ carnival is that it isn’t one long parade — the action happens within the confines of 35 gated-off street sections around the city. This has the benefit of dispersing the crowds so no one is stuck way out straining their neck to see who’s banging which drum.
Carnival is one of the biggest celebrations in the world, taking place in many different countries and regions. It dates back to pre-Christian celebrations in Ancient Rome, and was later adopted into the Christian calendar to mark the period before Lent.
In Argentina, the way that it’s celebrated varies in each region. In the North West it’s characterised by pre-colonial traditions, while the city of Gualeguaychú is famous for its extravagant themed parades. In the the city of Buenos Aires, the traditional belongs to the murgas, which date back to 1869.
Murgas originated in Cadiz, Spain, but became a prominent part of carnival celebrations in the working class, immigrant neighbourhoods of Uruguay and Argentina at the turn of the 20th century in a unique cultural expression that mixes both African and European roots. They continue the carnival tradition of revelry and dressing up in costume, but also the tradition of satire and joking, which stems from Carnival’s associations with Momus, the Greek masked personification of satire and mockery.