In Argentina, a “peña” is a form of festivity revolving around music, dance, food, and drink. And this Saturday, Buenos Aires will be celebrating the second annual Night of the Peñas in over 40 clubs and cultural spaces across the city, free of charge.
From 8 p.m. Saturday to 12 a.m. Sunday, locals and tourists alike can experience authentic folkloric traditions in a variety of different settings. In addition to music and dance, visitors can savor classic dishes from the interior of the country like regional empanadas, guiso de lentejas (lentil stew), locro (a corn-based stew with hunks of meat), and humita (a flavored corn meal typically served in a husk), to name just a few. While entry to the various peñas is free, the food and drink are not, so plan your outing accordingly.
Major destinations this year include Los Laureales in Barracas, which is offering a folkloric dance workshop; La Paila in Palermo, which will feature the music of the all-female group Chamamé, among others; and Espacio 350 in Almagro, where multiple national folklore acts will be performing, including Cantares del Alma, Mónica Younis, and La Fragua.
Some of the most popular rhythms at these gatherings are chacarera, zamba, gato, and malambo, but don’t be surprised if you hear a little national rock or tango spliced in as well. Peñas are nothing if not distinctly Argentine. They’re also known for their jubilant atmosphere, so be prepared to socialize — and dance! — with a perfect stranger well into the morning hours, regardless of pre-established schedules.
For a complete list of the venues participating, you can visit the event’s website here.