Chilean Independence Day is on September 18th, but festivities (Fiestas Patrias) celebrating this day begin a week prior. They go on to last for a whole week leading up to the eventual day.
Most of Chile recognise the week as an official holiday and locals often get at least 4 days off from work and school.
What actually takes place during these week-long festivities? Well, take your pick! There’s live music; parades; dancing; rows of food stalls selling traditional food and beverages; kids activities; kite flying. There is also a marketplace, where locals sell various hand-made goods, such as pottery, jewellery and textiles.
In terms of entertainment, the Chilean Independence Day is no slouch. Everywhere you go, sounds of the national anthem and other traditional favourites fill the airwaves.
This provides the perfect backdrop to perform the cueca, Chile’s national dance. During this routine, a man and a woman come together and then face each other. Before they start dancing, they wave their handkerchiefs in the air. Throughout the dance, the partners do not touch, but they do maintain contact through facial expressions and precise movements.
Traditional food eaten to celebrate Chilean Independence Day consists of various fresh seafood, with grass-fed beef being a favourite among meat lovers. Another popular staple is the empanadas de pino. This is a pastry dish filled with beef, raisins, onions, black olives and hard-boiled egg.
Meanwhile, the beverage selection offers a range of delicious wines. This includes pisco (liquor distilled from grapes), chicha (made out of fermented fruits) and pipeno (sweet wine made from ordinary grape stock). The introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks in the 1980s saw Chile go through a wine making renaissance.
And for children, the Fiestas Patrias offers a range of fun and engaging activities. These include classic favourites like luche (hopscotch), taca taca (table football, otherwise known as foosball in North America) and palitroque (outdoor bowling). Kite flying is also a popular tradition in most parts of Chile.
Chilean Independence Day – An important event for Torrens University students
Torrens University Australia is home to many international students from Chile. Our students who come here (or study online) to turn their passions into fulfilling careers.
For some, home can feel like a faraway place. Feelings of separation are common for those living away from families and friends. For this reason, Torrens University is committed to helping Chilean students stay connected to their heritage, be it through education, hosting live events and other forms of raising awareness.
By doing so, this not only helps students keep in touch with their roots and values, but also introduces this culture to a whole new audience. Which is especially important at a time where normal social engagements are not possible.
Of course, in the near-future, Torrens University looks forward to being able to bring this sense of community to life by hosting various on-campus events.
So, on behalf of Torrens University Australia – happy Chilean Independence Day!
If you’d like to learn more about being an international student at Torrens University Australia, and how we celebrate the various cultures around the world, visit the International Students section of the Torrens University Australia website.
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