Sunday, September 18, 2011
Felices Fiestas Patrias Chile!
September 18th is Chilean Independence Day and we have seen weeks of build-up for the four-day weekend; Chilean flags everywhere, cueca (a traditional dance) outfits sold at every street corner, fair grounds converted into ramadas - filled with rides, food, and games, the kids learning several traditional dances in gym class, runs on meat at the grocery store, etc.
This weekend is not so different from the 4th of July or Thanksgiving in the States, when family all gather and eat! We made it through four asados (bbqs) and/or picnics in two days and then we ran out of steam.
Today, I told our neighbors we were just resting and eating vegetables all day and they were so appalled that they sent over more grilled meat to our house tonight!
Here's some of the essentials for Chilean fiestas patrias:
- Flags everywhere: on cars, flying in front of houses, on kites!
- Asados; a lonely day for vegetarians.
- Rodeo complete with cowboys
- Cueca dancing
- Some chicha (fermented grape juice), good wine or pisco sours
- Gathering with friends and family
- Kites (September's winds provide recreation for young and old. Everywhere you go kites are high over head, especially in the cerros (hills) of Valparaíso.
It was a lovely weekend and we were lucky to share it with some good Chilean friends.