Although Chile officially gained independence from Spain in April of 1818, the process of gaining independence was started on September 18, 1810, and this day is traditionally celebrated in Chile as Independence Day. The celebration, however, is not confined to the 18th, but to several days before and after.
Typical celebration consists of an asado (barbeque), eating empanadas, dancing cueca, the traditional dance, and drinking wine or chicha. For an authentic celebration, most towns have dances at ramadas, which are open-air thatched roof buildings made of branches, based on traditional Chilean shelters.
Like the 4th of July in the
Chileans are very patriotic, and the spirit of Independence Day is seen all of September. Traditional Chilean music can be heard in stores, and the national colors are displayed. On the 18th nearly everybody displays a flag, which is in fact required by law (although not enforced).