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National Independence Holiday in Chile: five traditions that you must get to know

National Independence Holiday in Chile: five traditions that you must get to know

By: Hernan Claro - 6 September, 2023

National Independence Holiday

There is no date that connects Chileans more than the National Independence Holiday, where the anniversary of the beginning of the country’s independence process is commemorated with typical food and drinks, dances, and many other traditions.

Keep reading and discover these traditions that make us unique!

1. Chilean inns (fondas) for your enjoyment

Going to the inns is an essential activity to celebrate the National Independence Holiday in Chile. It is about spacious establishments where people come together to share food, activities, and live shows.

Each region has its own inns and iconic shelters. In the case of Santiago, the largest ones are in the Parque O’higgins. You can’t miss these!

On our sister site, Chile es Tuyo, you will find more information about Chilean inns that will take place across the country. Click here.

2. Dance the national dance and feel like a Chilean

Photo: @munirenaico

There is nothing more traditional than dancing the national dance on the National Independence Holiday. It is not necessary to be an expert, since a handkerchief will be enough for you to stamp and shine with your partner in the traditional Chilean dance.

The national dance is not the only protagonist during the National Independence Holiday. Cumbia is also frequently danced during the holidays, where people enjoy its catchy rhythm and cheerful melodies.

3. Minced meat and onion pastries: a gastronomic delight

The delicious, minced meat and onion pastry is a thin bread dough baked and filled with meat, onion, egg, olive, and optionally raisins, depending on the taste of each diner. Although its consumption increases during the National Independence Holiday, it is a common dish for Chileans all year round.

There are other dishes that you cannot miss. The cazuela, porotos con rienda, mote con huesillo, and anticucho are part of the gastronomic offer that you will find during the holidays.

And if you want to have a drink, you cannot miss the Chilean wine, chicha, or the powerful drink known as “terremoto” if you are looking for something stronger.  

4. Test your skills with typical Chilean games

The pitch and toss (rayuela) consist of throwing a metal disk on an inclined 1×1 meter box with the objective of hitting the mark above a chalk line outline. The players must be 14 meters away, and the shots are alternated, adding points as they approach the line.

The greased stick (palo ensebado), pulling the rope, or emboque are other funny traditional Chilean games that people can enjoy during the National Independence Holiday.

5. The excitement of flying a kite

Photo: @gonzalogub

Thousands of Chileans go out to fly kites during the national independence holiday, making the most of the pleasant winds that arrive with the spring.

It is an ideal activity to do it together in family, which is why it is important to be responsible.

You must never use hardened thread, and you must keep away from power lines. You must also not take out kites that have been caught in dangerous places, such as wires or treetops, to avoid accidents.

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