When visiting Chile in September, you will always hear about preparations for the “Dieciocho” (Eighteen). Posters invite you to events and Chilean flags flutter on every house and building. Every year on September 18th, Chile’s independence from Spain is celebrated extensively during the “Fiestas Patrias”, which take place a few days before and after the official holiday.
If you really want to experience Chilean culture, this is the best time to travel to the South American country. The “Dieciocho” is not just a tourist attraction, but pure Chile and an insight into the country’s national identity. It is part of the traditions, what makes up the Chileans, what they live, love and share with family as well as friends. People usually meet at ramadas and fondas, the festive places where folkloric art performances are offered in addition to the tasting of typical food.
During the Fiestas Patrias, many Chileans are dressed in traditional clothing, especially the huasos, the Chilean cowboys. The Huasos’ clothing includes wide-brimmed hats, ponchos and high-slit trousers. The highlight of the festivities is often the performance of the cueca, Chile’s national dance, performed by couples in traditional costumes.