On September 18, the Chilean people will celebrate their Independence Day, and you are invited. What a celebration it is! As in most Latin American nations, the ‘Fiestas Patrias,’ as they are known locally, are celebrated with parades, national festivals, and dancing, but Chile takes it a step further by beginning celebrations even before Independence Day.
The background of Independence Day
Chile, a minor nation, was ruled by the Spanish Empire for three hundred years. By the 18th century, an atmosphere of independence was gaining root, as the United States threw off British rule and Northern South America fought for New Granada’s independence. The mismanagement of a fraudulent Spanish-appointed governor, Francisco Antonio Garca Carrasco, intensified the Chilean people’s desire for independence, which was sparked by the preceding examples. In October 1808, he was discovered stealing smuggled clothing from a British whaling warship, and he was responsible for the deaths of the ship’s captain and several crew members, which stoked revolutionary sentiments among the Chileans.
The French invasion of Spain and Portugal in 1808 fueled the independence movement even further. Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military commander, then installed his brother on the throne of Spain and imprisoned King Charles IV and his heir, Ferdinand VII. The colonies rebelled in part because they refused to pay the French government’s tariffs. Some nations, such as Argentina and Ecuador, chose a compromise by declaring independence until Ferdinand VII could reclaim the Spanish throne. Chile followed the same path and proclaimed conditional independence from Spain on September 18, 1810, gaining complete independence after a protracted war a decade later. Despite this, Chileans have designated September 18 as their official Independence Day because a significant first step was taken on this date.
Independence Day is promptly followed by another public holiday, the Day of the Glories of the Army, which honours military personnel who have fought for their country. Many businesses and schools will declare a week-long break for the ‘Fiestas Patrias’ or ‘Homeland Holidays,’ which honour the events surrounding the country’s fight for independence. These celebrations include parades, dancing, celebrations, traditional Chilean cuisine, and displays of patriotism. Huasos, the iconic cowboys of the nation, are frequently featured in these parades.
Even as Chileans celebrate their independence, they continue to confront numerous financial obstacles, such as the inability to afford a college education of sufficient quality. Fortunately, numerous organisations and associations provide funding to assist. Scholaroo has a variety of scholarships for Hispanic pupils, so be sure to look into them.
FAST FACTS ABOUT CHILE’S DAY OF INDEPENDENCE
Chileans enjoy dancing, music, and drinking in ‘ramadas,’ which are open-air ‘buildings’ with a dance floor beneath a thatched canopy or a roof made of branches.
Chile, like many other Latin American countries, shutters stores, schools, and offices for the duration of the celebration.
Fiestas Patrias may be commemorated differently throughout Chile, but one thing remains constant: all day long, every Chilean household proudly hoists its flag to the sky.
Chilean residents consider their national holiday to be as important as, if not more than, Christmas.
Since many people visit family during this time, it is estimated that about two million people travel over this holiday.
INDEPENDENCE DAY DATES