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What to do in South America November 2012

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November is the heart of Spring in South America so it’s not surprising to see that it’s busy, filled with festivals and holidays.

Argentina

Buenos Aires Gay Pride is on November 3rd. Argentina's capital city celebrates with a little less fanfare that what you would see in other world cities. While San Francisco and Toronto have a week-long festival of activities culminating in a large parade, here in Buenos Aires it celebrates the history of the first gay organization in the city in 1969. The parade isn't as colorful as is often described as a march near the President's residence Casa Rosada.

Vinos de Lujo, the premier luxury wine expo in Buenos Aires, will occur November 7 - 11 at Alvear Palace Hotel. It is one of the more expensive events held in the city with wines priced between US $12-120; however it is considered to be the wine event of the year. There are wine tastings all week and many events where Argentine chefs will pair wine with dinner.

Semana Musical Llao Llao is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year in Bariloche. Situated in the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by Nahuel Huapi National Park, Bariloche is often called the "Aspen of Argentina" and most often known as a tourist destination for winter activities such as skiing and trekking.  This classical music festival brings music to the mountains and is one of the largest classical music events in South America. There will be musicians from all over Europe and North America performing for this very popular event being held November 3-11.

The 6th Annual Queer Tango Festival will be held in Buenos Aires from November 19-25. There will be events all over the city in popular studios and  tango clubs. New York has been designated the sister city for 2012 and there will be New Yorker teachers and dancers participating this year. Every day you can find milongas, shows, orchestras and performances from Argentines.

Brazil

Argentina is not the only country celebrating gay pride in November, Rio de Janeiro hosts its festival November 13-18. This is the 17th year of the festival parade and over one million are expected to attend. There is a full week of activities and many parties planned for this city which prides itself on its LGBT promotion. Unbelievably this is not the largest Pride festival in Brazil, Sao Paulo's continues to be the largest in the world with over 4 million participants.

Ecuador

November is one of the biggest month's for holidays, particularly in Cuenca. First the country kicks off with All Saints day, also known as Día de Todos Santos (All Saints Day). While many know this as the indigenous holiday of Day of the Dead, due to the Catholic Church's influence it was re-appropriated to reflect the church's beliefs.

It is immediately followed by Cuenca's independence day. While it is officially on November 3rd the city celebrates for the entire week. It is truly a local celebration and this colonial city is flooded with Ecuadorians from the surrounding area. It is definitely a time when you need reservations but if you can find a room it is a wonderful time to see traditional dress and music.

French Guiana

November 11 marks Veteran's Day in this country and is a national holiday.

Guyana

November is Divalin in Guyana. While that may appear to be a bit unexpected in a sub-continent that is primarily Catholic, Guyana is a bit of a different story. Once called British Guiana, Hindus make up one-third of the population. Divali has been celebrated in Guyana for over 150 years and continues to be an important holiday, find out more.

Suriname

Suriname celebrates its independence from the Kingdom of Netherlands on November 25th. This country was once ruled by the British and then the Dutch in 1667  and was called Dutch Guiana but it was not until 1975 that it gained full independence. Interestingly, in the years leading up to independence many citizens were fearful the country would not survive well on its own and up to 250,000 moved to the Netherlands.

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