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.


  1. Pisco sours and seared flesh. Yum! Thinking of you all lots. Especially Saturday we had a bunch of folks over to our house for a party. Including a family here from Chile. Someday I'll figure out how to introduce your family to them. Until then, all my love to you all.

  2. I am so glad you were able to spend 18 de Septiembre!!!I would've loved to be there and show my kids how much fun can it be and how in Chile we introduce our tradiciones to our kids (learning our dances and cultural tradicions). Thanks to that I learned to dance our cueca and all there is to know about our country. Thanks for all the nice pictures and once again admire you and your children they are real troopers.

    Maria j. Bonilla

  3. @Maria,
    Too bad you weren't able to be here for las fiestas patrias. What a special time. I didn't get to dance cueca, but this Friday - Theo will dance the Costillar and Grace will dance cueca at school! What fun!
    Cuidense mucho.Laura