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Brazil is known for its Carnaval parades that fill entire streets. In Argentina and Uruguay, Carnaval is celebrated a little bit differently. It is most popular in smaller, often indigenous towns in northern Argentina near the Uruguayan border, and considered a celebration of  ‘el pueblo’ (the village). Drum beats called Candombe are the staple of Carnaval dances, as well as influences of folkloric music and cumbia. In Buenos Aires, Carnaval is modest and only noticeable in certain neighborhoods. Outside of these small microcosms, it is business as usual in the bustling capital. 


Uruguayan Carnaval is a bit louder. In Montevideo, streets are closed off and different events pop up throughout the city. It is popular, but to no comparison with Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. Carnaval in Uruguay and Argentina is in a way authentic by nature, and its grandeur is often reserved for those who are closest to it culturally — it does not attract tourists from around the world like in Brazil and is not necessarily an excuse for binging alcohol in the streets and climbing on flag poles. It is traditional, niche and vibrant in its own way.

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The Ballet Virgin del Socavon is a youth dance group performing folkloric dance and telling the story of the Virgin. They are preparing for Carnaval in the northern town of Tilcara, in the province of Jujuy, a largely indigenous Andean  region that is known for its Carnaval celebrations.

In the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires, the last day of Carnaval is celebrated with performances of different dance groups in a local park. With a small audience of no more than 50 people, Carnaval came to an end.

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After a performance in Montevideo during Carnaval, the dancers meet the audience. The performance told the story of a prince who was gender fluid and danced both amongst the men and women on stage. Uruguay is often known for its progressive gender and LGBTQ+ politics.


Even during Carnaval season in Buenos Aires, tango is king. On the last day of Carnaval, a couple attract tourists near the Recoleta cemetery.

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