Argentina Buenos Aires

El Día del Amigo*

In a city that worships friendship, connecting regularly is the norm among most porteños. In past years, fear of incarceration or death kept Argentines from gathering and there was little to celebrate while loved ones were disappearing. But, with increased political and economic stability, el Día del Amigo has become another excuse to exchange small gifts, tie up telecommunication lines and share a meal in Buenos Aires.

U.S. Congress instituted Friendship Day nationally in 1935. It acquired international status after Argentine professor and 2-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Enrique Febbraro lobbied the provincial government of Buenos Aires to establish a day to encourage humankind to embrace peace and harmony. His first attempt was at the end of WWII but he became successful in 1969 after being inspired by the Moon Landing bringing people worldwide together in front of their television sets. July 20th became el Día del Amigo in Argentina and in many countries around the world. Friend Day is the first Sunday in August in North America.

It’s likely that you will find your favorite restaurants and night spots in BA packed as friends gather to party on el Día. So take advantage of the specials offered, and the opportunity to spread a little love, and make your reservations at least a week in advance.

*This article was originally published in the Buenos Aires Time-Out Shortlist 2009