Photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash

The 30th of November is the national day of mate in Argentina. Many people around the world might not know what mate is or might find mate as a beverage of strange flavour. But in Argentina mate is the typical and most popular infusion.

It is funny that mate – the beverage- is spelled in the same way as mate –friend- because mate can be a great companion. Mate is taken at breakfast, in the afternoon, at work, at university, among friends and among family members. For Argentine people, “los mates” are a fundamental part of life. In every meeting Argentines share a “round” of mate.

What is mate?

Mate is a strong, caffeinated tea drank from a hollow gourd about the size of an apple. The gourd is filled with herb and hot water and then drank through a metal straw called “bombilla”, which has a filter.

Why is the 30th of November the national mate day?

November 30 was instituted as National Mate Day in commemoration of the birth of Guaraní Andresito Guazurarí (1778-1821), the only indigenous origin governor in Argentine history. Guazurarí governed the province of Misiones in the North of Argentina from 1815 to 1819, when he encouraged the production of yerba mate and promoted its commercialization.

The date became official in 2013 through the publication of a Law that seeks to promote the recognition of the most popular infusion in the Argentina.

Facts about Argentines and mate

In Argentina 256 million kilos of yerba mate are consumed every year. This implies an annual consumption of about 6.4 kilos per person. Argentines drink an average of 100 litters per year of mate per person.

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