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Chile’s Fiestas Patrias: The national way to celebrate Independence Days

On the 18th and 19th of September, Chile will commemorate the beginning of the Chilean Independence process. Their road to independence from Spain started on back in 1810 and, despite having to fight for eight more years to earn their complete freedom, Chile officially declared its independence on February 12, 1818.

These celebrations coincide with springtime in Chile and are replete with parades, local dances (including cueca competitions), traditional Chilean delicacies like empanadas, music, drinks and rodeos with the traditional huasos (cowboys). The ‘cueca’ is the national dance. It is found throughout all Chilean regions, albeit with slight variations between each area. Its choreography consist of pairs of dancers holding up and waving their handkerchiefs in the air and is meant to charmingly depict the courtship of the rooster and hen.

This celebration is also known as the Dieciocho, or “eighteenth,” and is celebrated from the northern deserts of Atacama to the southern tip of Chile. It lasts for a week. Visiting Chile during this time of year will offer travelers the perfect atmosphere to get to know the Chilean traditions, gastronomy and spirit.

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