Christmas celebrations in Argentina start almost from the beginning of December. Locals decorate a Christmas tree and string up lights on December 8th (on the Fiesta de la Virgen), and from this period active preparations for the celebration begin, culminating on Christmas in this predominantly Catholic country. Instead of parties, Argentines prefer modest home celebrations and compulsory attendance at the church mass. Christmas in Argentina and in Buenos Aires in particular, is a family holiday celebrated at home. Usually, all family members meet at someone's home at 10 pm to have Nochebuenа or Holy Supper.
The Christmas table traditionally consists of salad—ensalada de lechuga y tomate, Argentine asado, or marinated turkey. At 12 am they solemnly raise glasses of champagne called fizzy or cider, and young people set off firecrackers or sparklers. Many organizers of firework shows compete in colour and brightness. One purely Argentine Christmas tradition is the launching of fire paper balls into the sky, called globos.