The Chilean people celebrate Independence Day, one of the national holidays, on September 18. Celebration of this holiday opens a series of festive events, that are awaited by children and adults, because many schools and companies have a week-long holiday.
The Spanish began conquering Chile in 1540 in hope to ﬁnd rich gold and silver mines. Although they didn’t ﬁnd what they wanted, they recognized the agricultural potential of the country. Spain administered Chile as one of its colony till the early 1800s, when the movement of independence began to spread across the colonies of Central and South America. In Chile the movement was also forced by the appointment of an unpopular governor in 1808.
On September 18, 1810 the First Government Junta was established in Chile to administer the country after deposition and imprisonment of King Ferdinand VII by Napoleon Bonaparte. This was one of the ﬁrst steps of Chile towards its independence and the event, that led to the beginning of the Chilean War of Independence.
Ofﬁcially Chile declared independence from Spain only on February 12, 1818 and it was recognized on April 25, 1844. But the establishment of the First Government Junta and beginning of the war of independence are traditionally celebrated in Chile as Independence Day.
Celebration of Independence Day is marked with national parties, that include parades, dancing, partying and displays of national pride. A ﬁrework illuminates the sky in the evening.
What happens on Chile Independence Day?
It’s party time! Many Chileans spend the entire week leading up to the day celebrating. What’s more, the festivities run
until the day after the ofﬁcial Chile Independence Day. September 19th is another public holiday known as the Day of the Glories of the Chilean Army.
All in all, you’re looking at up to seven days of solid celebrating and partying. During this time, many schools and businesses close and people take a vacation from work. Chileans love to mark the occasion with food and drink, music and dancing and parades and rodeos featuring huasos, Chilean cowboys. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you need to get over there and ﬁnd a suitably busy ramada. Ramadas, for the uninitiated, are open-air party spaces under thatched or straw roofs. Music, food and a good time are virtually guaranteed. The Dieciocho is a party that you won’t forget anytime soon.
Food and drink on Chile Independence Day
No feast is complete without an ample selection of tasty things to eat and drink. Chil-ean independence was a monumental event, and the food and beverage on offer reﬂect that. Traditional Chilean food is cooked on open bit barbeques known as asados. All that smoky goodness ﬁlls the air before barbequed meat and vegetables are served up. Baked empanadas are also particularly popular. When it comes to drinking, there is no shortage of Chilean wine to be had. Many people will get together to cook or share food, though it is possible to buy traditional food and drink from concession stands known as fondas.