National Mate Day in Argentina Date in the current year: November 30, 2024

National Mate Day in Argentina National Mate Day (Día Nacional del Mate) is celebrated annually on November 30. It was established in 2014 to recognize the country’s national drink and celebrate the birthday of Andrés Guazurary, the only Argentinian caudillo (provincial governor) of fully indigenous origin.

Mate is a South American caffeine-rich infused herbal drink made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant (Ilex paraguariensis). Yerba mate is a plant of the holly genus native to present-day Paraguay and parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and Tupi peoples. Following European colonization, the consumption of mate spread throughout South America, and its production became commercialized.

At first, colonizers used indigenous labor to harvest wild yerba mate. Jesuits domesticated the plant in the mid-17th century and established plantations in the Argentine province of Misiones. Their plantations fell into a state of neglect after the expulsion of Jesuits in the 1760s, but the plant was domesticated again in Argentina in the 19th century. In the 1930s, Argentina became the largest producer of mate, surpassing Brazil, which helped revive the economy of Misiones.

Mate is made by soaking dried yerba mate leaves in hot, but boiling, water. When yerba mate is boiled and then strained, the resulting drink is called mate cocido. Mate cocido sometimes comes in teabags, so it can be brewed like tea. A drink made with yerba mate and medicinal or refreshing herbs that are steeped in cold water is called tereré.

The flavor of brewed yerba mate resembles an infusion of herbs, grass, and vegetables. Some people compare it to certain varieties of green tea. Mate is usually unsweetened, but some drinkers like to add sugar or honey. The unsweetened version of the drink is sometimes referred to as mate amargo (bitter mate), whereas sweetened mate is called mate dulce (sweet mate).

Mate is traditionally served in a container also known as mate, which is typically made from a calabash gourd. Modern mates can be made of metal, ceramic, bamboo, wood, or other materials, but they still tend to be gourd-shaped. The beverage is drunk through a metal straw called bombilla.

Mate has a strong cultural significance for some South American nations; it is regarded as the national beverage of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is traditionally drunk in various social settings, such as meetings with friends or family gatherings, where everyone drinks mate from the same gourd using the same straw.

National Mate Day was established by the National Congress of Argentina in December 2014 and has been celebrated every November 30 since 2015. Its date was chosen to commemorate Andrés Guazurary, a prominent military and political leader remembered as the only federal caudillo of indigenous origin. But what does he have to do with mate? From 1815 to 1819, Guazuary was the governor of Misiones Province. During his tenure, he encouraged the restoration of yerba mate plantations in the province and made great effort to promote the drink.

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National Mate Day in Argentina, holidays in Argentina, cultural observances, mate, Andrés Guazurary