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Chile: Celebrating the First National Government Junta

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Photo by Ditto_ Chileno photos

On September 18, we will celebrate the First National junta that took place in 1810. As the Geographic Military Institute (ES) explains:

Independence day is not the real reason why we celebrate on September 18, but rather it corresponds to the fist decisive step that broke the yoke between Chile and the Spanish Crown. The real Chilean independence took place on February 12 of 1818”.

Why do we have to make this explanation? Marcyflor (ES) posts an investigation that was published in a local newspaper. The survey was done in 4 cities, by telephoning 714 households, and revealed that 69% of those questioned don’t know what they are celebrating. The conclusions were:

“One of every 5 persons declared not knowing the answer, only 15% had the right answer as to why we commemorate the first national government junta. 16% gave general answers that could be considered correct, such as The Day of the Nation or The Chilean Anniversary, while 47% declared that we celebrate Chilean Independence. The answers are striking when referring to the commemoration of the Chilean Foundation, the birth of [independence leader] Bernardo O'Higgins or the Iquique naval Combat.”

People celebrate anyway. Traditionally people used to attend fondas, or refreshment stands, that are decorated with the colours of the Chilean Flag; red, blue, and white. Traditional food items include “empanadas” (savory pastries) and barbecue. The traditional drink is chicha, made from grapes and it is very sweet. The traditional dance is Cueca, and like many traditional dances, is a courting ritual between couples. Manosylanas(ES) posts some photos of this dance, we regard the man “huaso” and the woman as ”china”. So, you can see both huaso and china dancing Cueca with the traditional costume.

Also this month spring begins here in Chile and September is well-known for its windy weather; so the sky is full of multicoloured kites. And you have to hang the Chilean Flag in every single house, if you don’t, it is illegal.

Lore (ES) writes in her blog about attending the university fondas. She missed the Cueca and she does not agree with having to hear Reggeton or hip hop instead of the traditional Cueca dance. Towards the botton of the post she offers some holiday advice that can be useful in understanding the celebration:

They put water into punch
Barbeque meat is probably cheap beef
The spicy pork sausage will not be Llanquihue (a well known trade brand of sausages)
Boo if you heard reggeton or Hip hop at a Fonda
To dance Cueca is easy, so don’t say you don’t know how to dance it…at least invent it
Don’t use “hilo curado” ( reel of thread for kites with polish glass)
The bicarbonate or fruit salts are good for stomach ( hangover, hehe)
Know you’re going to get fat so don’t complain
And sleep a lot because you will need to be well rested to start celebrating the next day
Happy holidays… !!!!!

Some blogs are promoting Fondas, such as Disorder (ES) and Saborizante (ES), a blog that promotes the nightlife scene, which invites readers to a non-traditional Fonda:

Are you looking for a rock Fonda? Something without too much Cueca, chichi, and at the same time without the glam and techno? Then, for sure this is your best choice, because in this Fonda the best rock groups will be playing: Hielo Negro, Ramirez, Devil Presley, Matorral and Jiminelson; they promise to have the cheapest drinks, and after the amazing lineup of bands, the best DJ's will make the party non-stop.

We still have to wait until September 18, but because of the weekends, celebrating starts already.

1 comment

  • I feel very flattered to appear in this page.
    Thank you very much to consider a contribution the lines that I wrote. It causes much laughter to me to read to me in English.

    It turns out interesting to know that at international level also one comments how we celebrated the Chileans our patriotic anniversary.

    Happy Fiestas Patrias to the Chileans who are out of our country.

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