This past week, I did not have school. This is the week of fiestas patrias, the celebration of Chile’s birthday. For over a little over a week, the city has been littered with Chilean flags and other red, white, and blue decorations. This week is similar to July 4th in the US, however, here, an entire week is dedicated to these festivities.
In my school there have been many decorations as well as activities to celebrate fiestas patrias. On Thursday, we all had empanadas at school. we also had been learning the cueca, a traditional Chilean dance during gym and had a cueca competition with all the grades. It was super fun to see some of my classmates dressed up in the traditional outfits!
Fiestas patrias are a time to spend with friends and family. Many jobs give a bonus for the week. Throughout the week there are many parties and ramadas. The ramadas usually last for the whole week and while some people go just for one day, others go for the entire week. These are like fairs with food, rides, and sometimes fireworks.
Yesterday, I went to my first ramada. When I got there, I met up with some school friends. I immediately noticed the huge amount of people as well as all the vendors. There were a ton of stands selling food, clothes, drinks, and games. As we entered, we found many more games as well as many rides. Some of my friends went on this big ride that went in circles and took them upside down. It was super fun! There were also some street performers there such as clowns. Basically, my view of a ramada is just a super big fair!
On the 18, which is the official birthday of Chile, everyone has their family over and has a cookout. We hosted family at our house and after everyone ate, we played games. Although this isn’t super common in everyones house, it was very funny to watch.