Fiestas Patrias is an important national holiday in Chile celebrated each year on September 18th. This holiday honors the Chilean Declaration of Independence that took place on this day in 1818. (Not to be confused with Independence Day on February 12th.)
It is a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration throughout the country. During this time people gather together to take part in traditional activities like dancing, singing, and outdoor festivals. Local organizations, schools, and businesses host events to honor the nation’s identity and culture such as parades, musical performances, and culinary demonstrations of traditional Chilean dishes.
People also enjoy participating in competitions such as rodeos or handcrafted markets displaying art and artisan goods from local vendors.
The atmosphere is filled with patriotism, pride, and enthusiasm.
Chile’s Fiestas Patrias Spanish Class Activities
- Fiestas patrias de Chile: Chile – Cultural Presentation & Activities – In Spanish and English. Introduce your students to Fiestas Patrias de Chile in September.
- El Huaso Chileno (Chilean Cowboy) – Chile – Cultural Presentation & Activities – In Spanish and English. The Chilean huaso is a traditional Chilean cowboy, similar to the North American cowboy. The huasos work on ranches and farms, caring for animals and tending the land. They are well-known for their attire, including the bombachas (baggy pants) and wide-brimmed hats.
- Tomar once – Scaffolded Cultural Activity: Familias y comunidades – In this reading comprehension and visual activity, students learn about “Tomar once”, a tradition in Chile that consists of a special meal with family and friends.
- Chilean Fiestas Patrias Celebration Check List: 9 Things to Do & Spanish Words to Remember – The best place to experience both in Chile during Fiestas Patrias is by going to a fonda. Parks around the city prepare a big event, fondas or ramadas, that are temporary locations that make traditional food like empanadas de pino, anticuchos, choripan, and pastel de choclo. This is accompanied by presentations of rodeo, cueca dancing and chinchineros, icons of the Chilean culture.