Among all the other great things Buenos Aires has to offer there’s one that stood out from the rest. Across the city many neighborhoods have weekly festivals or ferias. Each one different than the rest but there was one that was like none other. Feria de Mataderos is held every Sunday from March to December in the the Mataderos neighborhood.
Feria de Mataderos is known for having a long history of showcasing it’s gaucho or Argentine cowboy traditions. Blocks of neighborhood streets are closed off for the weekly event where gauchos and other makers come and sell their products and the public comes to eat, dance, and take in the experience. Fine crafted leather goods, art, homemade cheeses, smoked meats, and other goods fill the vendor booths on the sidewalks.
Musicians play traditional from a stage and the crowd watches as others dance. Keeping their gaucho way of life alive, the local men and women wear their traditional folklore dress.
On the outskirts of the festival one long street is lined with hundreds of people watching as the gauchos compete in a traditional horse riding competition. The cowboys race down the street and try to spear a small ring hanging from a wire. The crowd lets out cheers and oohs and ahs as each competitor attempts to win.
There are no large corporations marking their latest thing and it helps keep this experience feel authentic. The music, food, and cultural experience make this one of my favorite memories from my three weeks in the city. If you’re not going to get out of the city to see Argentina’s rural culture, this is worth the long taxi or bus ride.
Here’s a video I put together from my afternoon at this unforgettable street festival.