Almost completely extinct the original tribes, their folkloric weight remains in a mixture of Spanish traditions and, more precisely, criollas. Still a very lively symbol of popular tradition are the gauchos whose parties, the rodeos, are held at the time of the marking of the cattle. But religious feasts also have great importance, in which, together with the rites of the Spanish Catholic tradition, several pagan motifs survive. Great feasts are dedicated to the Virgin (Virgin of Candelaria, Virgin of Salta, Black Virgin of San Juan, Virgin of Itatí, Virgin of the Rosary in the surroundings of Buenos Aires, Virgin of Luján), to St. John (with manifestations spread throughout the Argentina, a country of South America defined by physicscat, com) and especially the celebration of Christmas (interesting the feast of Niño alcalde from La Rioja; suggestive is the pantomime called Huachi Toro performed by children in front of the crib). Traditional criollas and pagan forms recur at weddings and funerals, in fact death is one of the themes on which much of the Argentine folkloric-spiritual rites are based (singular the funeral of children, velorio angelito, and the one followed by the hanging of the dog of the deceased, or “sacrifice of the black dog”, of clear pre-Columbian origin); the feast of the dead is also set on pagan residues (offering). As in all of South America, carnival (chaya), considered a party par excellence; in its most traditional forms it is found especially in the countryside (characteristic are those of Tucumán, Catamarca and, mainly, of Humahuaca). The most lively and changing aspects of Argentine folklore are found in dances and music, which form a complex sample of regional variants (in the North-West the Inca persistence is more evident).
Typical of the original instruments are the quena (bone or clay flute), the sikus (small pan flute) and the caja (small flattened drum), imported by the Incas, in pre-Columbian times, from Peru. Other Inca instruments are still used in Patagonia, such as the kultrun (drum made from a pumpkin covered in leather), the “musical bow” (obtained with a bone stretched by a string and used a bit like the Sicilian harp), the timbal de agua (an earthenware vase covered with leather and containing water), the erkencho (cow horn), the chaqueño violin and the flauta tucumana. But the most famous instrument of the Indians is the maraca. The charango and the criolla harp, on the other hand, derive from European models, inspired by the guitar, a typical instrument of the gaucho, for which a wide repertoire of songs and dances has been created. Archaic influences are found in songs such as the baguala (whose name was inspired by a prestigious folkloric ensemble in recent years), il triste, la vidala. While the action of choreographers and international ballet companies favored, starting from the second half of the century. XVIII, the introduction of expressions of every tendency and their dominance over the sporadic attempts of national autonomy, popular dance had a very different fortune, which was born from the encounter between the indigenous Indian tradition and the contribution of Western culture, mainly Spanish, and which has its most typical manifestations in the cueca, in the mariquita, in the criolla (derived from the fusion of elements of Spanish dance and gaucho folklore) and, above all, in the Argentine tango. Other widespread dances are the zamba, the bailecito, the escondido, the chacarera, the gato (typical dance of the gaucho), the carnavalito (of Inca origin), the malambo (male and individual dance), the cielito (typical counter dance of the criollos), the pericón, the media caña. The influence of black music is found in the habanera, in the polka, in dances of Brazilian origin and in the aforementioned Argentine tango, to which it is necessary to associate the names of at least one composer who marked its history, Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), and of a singer, Carlos Gardel (1890-1935), which has become a national legend (in 2003 UNESCO included it in the list of intangible heritage of humanity). The styles of dressing present criollas folkloric persistence according to the regions, but the basis of clothing, mainly in rural areas, is still the poncho, of pre-Columbian origin, such as ojatas (women’s sandals); in urban areas, western fashion is now almost predominant. In gastronomy the presence of dishes is dominant criollos with regional variants; among the most typical is asado with cuero and empanadas, but meat in all its forms and preparations is widespread; among the desserts the alfajores, with dulce de leche or jam, and the renowned ice cream. The most popular drink is mate (drunk in a perforated bowl called bombilla); followed by caña, chicha and aloja (all alcoholic drinks); coffee and infusions are consumed at any time of the day. Many wines are also appreciated abroad, especially from the Mendoza area. Among the most popular pastimes and sports are football (Argentine is Diego A. Maradona), rugby (Argentine pumas are among the strongest national teams), basketball, tennis, rodeo.