The Fiestas Patrias of Chile consists of two days:
- September 18, in commemoration of the proclamation of the First Governing Body of 1810, and marking the beginning of the Chilean independence process.
- September 19, known as the "Day of the Glories of the Army".
Within Chile the Fiestas Patrias are often referred to as the Dieciocho, or "18th" because the celebration occurs on September 18. Unofficially, the celebration can last for around a week, depending on when it falls (for example, if the 18th is a Wednesday, celebrations extend from Saturday the 14th, through Sunday the 22nd). It is held close to the spring equinox of the Southern Hemisphere so it doubles as a spring festival. Chile's Declaration of Independence happened on February 12. Most schools and jobs declare a week-long vacation for the holiday.This day is very important to the Chilean people because they are celebrating their freedom from Spanish rule.
The celebration of Fiestas Patrias is an expression of Chilean culture. Traditional activities associated with the Dieciocho includeChilean rodeo, dancing the cueca, going to fondas, and barbecue. Officially, activities on September eighteen are centered on a religious celebration "Te Deum Ecuménico de Fiestas Patrias". This ceremony, which is organized by the Catholic Church and led by theArchbishop of Santiago, has taken place since 1811 when it was started by José Miguel Carrera. The ceremony itself begins at 11:00am in the Plaza de Armas. Military parades and civil school parades are held on this day in major cities and towns nationwide. Many Chileans travel during the Fiestas Patrias to visit family, friends and relatives in other parts of the country and join the celebrations there. In Santiago, many people travel to resorts on the Pacific coast, especially Viña del Mar and the Litoral Central region. It is estimated that 2 million Chileans—nearly one-eighth of the country's population—travel during this holiday.
September 19, the anniversary of the installation of the First Government Council and the very first military parade in Chilean history, marks the grand finale: the Great Military Parade of Chile commemorating the glories of the Chilean Army, on Santiago's O'Higgins Parkand overseen by the President of Chile in his/her performance of his/her constitutional mandate as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Attraching millions of people, and simulcast live on radio, television and on the Internet, the parade, led by theChilean Armed Forces (Chilean Army, Chilean Navy and Chilean Air Force) and the Carabineros de Chile, takes place in the afternoon, and marks the end of the two-day holiday.
Now let's send messages of congratulations to Chile !