Celebrating "El 18", Chile´s Independence day
September is a very important month in Chile, not only do we welcome spring during this month in the southern hemisphere, but we also celebrate the independence of Chile on September 18th, and this is a very significant event for all Chileans, we do not have one but two days off school/work that usually join with the weekend creating a longer and pleasant time to rest before the spring solstice, but it is not all rest, we love to celebrate, Chileans are very creative and we love this particular holiday. First of all, it is celebrated at a school level, before the start of the break, each school in Chile prepares a presentation in which the children dance the typical dances of each region of the country, wear the traditional outfits used for the different dances, honoring and learning about the traditions of the diverse regions of our country, and every year in the PE class there is a cueca unit during the month of September, which is the national dance of Chile, it is difficult to find a Chilean who does not know how to dance cueca, because is taught consistently throughout everyone’s school years and, during this month it is heard everywhere, even in nightclubs and bars they took a moment of the night to dance a cueca.
During this short spring break, people take the opportunity to travel to other cities, the countryside or visit relatives; and in every corner of Chile, you can find a Fonda, which is an improvised bar where people get together to celebrate the independence of Chile. Here you will find the most diverse types of music, of course cueca, but also cumbias, rancheras, reggaeton, bachata and other samples of Latin American music. There are traditional games for children, typical foods, and crafts in which you can appreciate local materials and traditional designs hand made by local artisans.
This beautiful festivity is for the family, eating, drinking, dancing, and spending time together is an intrinsic part of this yearly event. It is a gift to see how students enjoy and learn more about our culture through one of our most deep-rooted, important, and entertaining traditional celebrations.