Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARGENTINA | 11-03-2024 19:59

Harry Potter fans bring magic to British Embassy's gardens in Buenos Aires

Alluring patrons with a rideable Quidditch broomstick, a sorting hat, costume contest and live performances from The Suburban Players and more, this year’s “Harry Potter at the British Embassy” event welcomed over 600 guests.

Platform 9 ¾ really does exist in Argentina… at the British Embassy’s annual Harry Potter event in Buenos Aires.

This year’s annual celebration of the English children's book series, written by J.K. Rowling, saw over 600 guests and featured a costume contest, live sorting hat, rideable Quidditch broomstick and performances by The Suburban Players, an English-speaking performance group based in San Isidro.

British Ambassador Kirsty Hayes – who was dressed as Bellatrix Lestrange, a villain and death eater in the series – gave a welcome speech and spoke to the Times about the importance of celebrating this exciting emblem of British literature.

“As the ambassador, one of my responsibilities is to promote all the best things that the UK has to offer, and, obviously, that includes our fantastic creative industries,” Hayes said. “J.K. Rowling is an author of great renown, who writes with a very strong British component and flair.”

The celebration took place last Thursday in the gardens of the British Ambassador's Residence in Recoleta. Attendees young and old could purchase copies of the novels, participate in trivia and costume contests and even apply temporary tattoos of the books’ characters and houses. Many guests arrived in full costume; some, dressed as professors like Severus Snape and Pomona Sprout, posed for pictures.

The event coincided with World Book Day in the United Kingdom, a charity event whose mission is to promote reading for pleasure by giving all children and young people the opportunity to own a book.

Hayes said that, historically, the annual celebration had taken place in the Embassy’s gardens, as it did this year. After halting for several years thanks to the pandemic, she shared her excitement about the event’s return.

“It’s great to see so many kids here enjoying and experiencing it,” Hayes said. “You really see what a deep resonance Harry Potter has here in Argentina.”

Among the attendees were personalities from culture, politics, economics and civil society, as well as members of the British-Argentine community.

Winners of a raffle held on the Embassy's social networks, students of the Argentine Association of English Culture (AACI), who stood out for their academic performance, and students who passed their first cycle in the free English classes project in Barrio 31 also attended. 

The event was supported by Penguin Random House, the publishing group that publishes the Harry Potter books, and FanCon, a production company dedicated to organising themed experiences.

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Ashton Goren

Ashton Goren


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