National Tango Day in Argentina Date in the current year: December 11, 2024

National Tango Day in Argentina National Tango Day is celebrated in Argentina on December 11. This date was chosen to commemorate the birthdays of two men known for their contribution to promoting Argentine tango: Carlos Gardel and Julio de Caro.

Tango is a partner dance that originated in the second half of the 19th century in the Rio de la Plata region that forms the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. It was born in the poor port ares, where natives lived alongside former slaves and European immigrants. Tango results from a combination of the Czech polka, German waltz, Bohemian schottische, Polish mazurka, Cuban habanera, Argentinian milonga, and African-Uruguayan candombe. In other words, its was born from Native American, African and European culture.

Tango was brought to Europe in the beginning of the 20th century by orchestras and dancers from Buenos Aires. The first European capital to embrace the new dance was Paris, and others soon followed suit. By the end of 1913, tango became a hit in Finland and New York City. In 2009, UNESCO included the dance in its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage as joint heritage of Argentina and Uruguay.

Over the years, a variety of styles of tango have developed around the world. The two main types of tango are Argentine tango and ballroom tango. Argentine tango is a social dance, while ballroom tango is mostly a competitive ballroom dance. Finnish tango and Uruguayan tango are sometimes singled out as separate types of tango but they are in fact variations of Argentine tango.

Two men that had a great impact on the development and popularization of Argentine tango were Carlos Gardel and Julio de Caro. Carlos Gardel was a French Argentine singer, songwriter, composer, and actor. He is widely recognized as the most prominent figure in the history of tango. Gardel was famous of his baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics. Together with lyricist Alfredo Le Pera, he is the author of several classic tangos. In Argentine, Gardel is commonly referred to as “The King of Tango” and “The Thrush” (El Zorzal).

Julio de Caro was a prominent Argentine composer, musician, and conductor. He began to play tango alongside his elder brother Francisco at a young age and earned a spot at Eduardo Arolas’s orchestra at age 18. He toured with the group for two years but eventually split from it and eventually founded his own orchestra that gained significant prominence.

We should thank Argentine composer, musical producer, and talent scout Ben Molar for creating National Tango Day. He came up with the idea after realizing that de Caro and Gardel were born on the same day. So Molar proposed to celebrate National Tango Day on their shared birthday, December 11.

At first, his idea didn’t gain much support but Molar was persistent and persuasive. Finally, the inaugural Tango Day was held in Buenos Aires on December 11, 1977. A week later, the celebration of Tango Day was officially promoted to the national level by the Argentine government. Today, Tango Day is celebrated by tango enthusiasts all over the world.

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