Chile’s traditional festivals: Independence Day

Ramada in Chile

Ramada in Chile

The best day of the year to be a Chilean is on September 18, and one of the best times to visit Chile is right about then, too. Independence Day celebrations arrive in springtime, from September 18 to 19, usually spilling over into the closest weekend, and sometimes lasting the entire week.
The style of food, dance, and costumes are rooted in central Chile’s rural huaso (cowboy) traditions, and on the 18th, everyone is a little bit huaso, from the northernmost reaches of the Atacama Desert and to the southernmost reaches of Patagonia.
Festivities usually include dancing cueca, the national dance that beautifully and saucily interprets the mating rituals of rooster and hen. Traditional games include kite-flying, sack racing, and climbing a greased pole.

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