Chile Independence Day

Chile Independence Day Quick Facts

HashtagsCompiled on#Chile
2024 DateSeptember 18, 2024
2025 DateSeptember 18, 2025

Chile Independence Day

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Chile Independence Day History

Chile Independence Day, known as El Dieciocho, serves to commemorate the country's proclamation of independence from Spain on September 18, 1810. As an important facet of Chilean identity, it is a cultural event marked by traditional customs, lively celebrations and patriotic demonstrations that significantly represent the richness of the Chilean spirit.

The Declaration of Independence was signed eight years after the initial proclamation, which marked the definitive break from Spanish rule and the beginning of an era of self-governance. It was not until 12 February 1818 and after several bloody battles, that Chile effectively became an independent nation. With the establishment of Republic in 1818, Chile marked each year with public celebrations filled with traditional foods, dances, music, and rodeos, commemorating the fight for freedom and sovereignty.

An integral part of El Dieciocho is the 'Fondas', traditional food courts serving Chilean dishes and wines. Additionally, 'Ramadas', open-air saloons offering music and dance, are fundamental aspects of the celebration. Chile Independence Day is not just a day, but a week-long celebration beginning in mid-September, usually around 18 and 19, marked by an abundance of festivities paying homage to Chile's rich culture and history.

Chile Independence Day facts

  • According to The Guinness Book of Records, Chile has the world’s largest swimming pool with a length of 1,000 yards, an area of 20 acres and a maximum depth of 115- feet. It holds 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater. The pool was opened in December 2006 and took five years of construction work with a cost of nearly 1 billion dollars and an annual maintenance cost of about 2 million.
  • Chile is an important conducive place for astronomical observations. Astrologers from around the world come to the country to make their observations as there are more than 300 nights of clear weather available in the Norte Grande part of Chile.
  • Chile's National Rodeo Championship finals are also held during this holiday period. Rodeo is one of the country's most popular sports and was declared Chile's national sport in 1962.
  • The traditional drink during the celebrations is a punch made from fermented apple juice called "chicha." It is traditionally served in a leather cup and has been part of the festivities since colonial times.
  • Most of Chile gained its independence by 1821, but the region of Araucania remained independent under the control of the Mapuche people until it was incorporated into Chile in the late 19th Century.

  • The dancing of the "Cueca," the national dance of Chile, is a major part of the event. It is characterized by the waving of handkerchiefs and portrays the courtship of a rooster and a hen. Also important traditions are playing games, like the "volantin" (a kite flying competition), and the military parade held in the capital city, Santiago.

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