Monday, October 16, 2006

September 18 - Independence Day

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 United States, most towns celebrate September 18 with a parade. If you can’t see through the crowds, climbing a tree is a great option to view the parade, as well as avoid the undesirable threat of pocket-pickers, which love crowded gatherings.

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).


Chilean. said...

Okay, I read your article. But there's a small mistake.

Chile's Independence Day is the 12. Febraury 1918.

The Sept. 18th is the day of the First Government meeting in order to reject Jose Bonaparte's ruling in the colonies of Spain, after Fernando VI got arrested after the French Invasion by Napoleon. We don't celebrate our independence in that day, because If you read something about our history... Chile went back to it's Spanish rulers after that first meeting a couple years anyway, so we were never quite "independant"... until Febraury 1918 of course.

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