Chilean National Day


Ever heard of Chile National Day? It’s THE time of the year you want to be in Chile. All shops, schools and businesses close down to let room for… CELEBRATION! So write down Sept 18th & 19th on your calendar peeps, you’re not gonna want to miss that! And if it wasn’t enough, if the National Days happen during the week, the Chilean government declare the day before of after a holiday as well!
Therefore, for this year 2018 National Fiestas, expect parties from Friday 14th to Wednesday 19th! Hopefully, you’ll remember your time in Chile!

So the 18th of September or the “dieciocho”  – 18 in Spanish – is celebrated during a week full of National Parties called “Fiestas Patrias”.
For most Chileans – 100% of them if I dare say – September 18th is more important than New Year, Christmas or even their own birthdays.
And there’s one thing Chileans know how to do is PARTYING! What to expect? Typical food, dance, concert, cocktails, games and … did I mention Terremoto? Trust me you want to keep reading if I didn’t.
Do prepare, everything is CLOSED! Even yours truly .. but NO WORRIES: Our fellow Walking Guides of Tours4Tips keep rolling in all 4 cities!

What to do during Chile National Days?

1/ Bring flags :

You’ll soon notice that flags in Chile are EVERYWHERE. Why you ask?
Well if you are Chilean and don’t show your color: you get fined!
No jokes during this time of the year, you gotta love Chilito Lindo!

2/Search for a fonda:

Most festivities take place in open-air parks or clubs with typical food & local dances: Fondas. Check our our blog post on the best fondas in Chile!

3/ Drink :

Drink, drink and drink – but always with moderation or the earth will start shaking.
So cocktails, wine, beer are the beverages of the week. The most traditional you ask?

  • A home-brewed chicha, a sweet ferment made with grapes or apple
  • Pipeño, a very sweet white wine fermented in jugs.
  • Piscola, a mix of Pisco and Coca Cola

But the true Chilean National Drink you will find in every fonda are Terremotos (“earthquake” in english), an earth-shaking mix of pipeño, grenadine, and pineapple sorbet.
Be careful! Even the most resistant to alcohol don’t take more than 3 glasses, otherwise say goodbye Fonda, hello headaches!
The first time that I have tried it? I can tell you the taste wasn’t the best but the earth did shake.

4/ Be part of a cueca competition:

Festivities usually include dancing the national dance: Cueca!
It interprets the mating rituals of rooster and hen, and Chileans will be glad to teach you how to dance it. Don’t worry you will not be ridiculous, just try.

5/ Get ready to eat

Do NOT miss out on Chilean food like empanada! Try the traditional Empanada de Pino: a baked pastry filled with beef, onions and cumin along with a hard-boiled egg and an olive. Or you can either choose anticucho, a kabob-style skewer tracing its roots to the Quechua people in the north. It’s true that Chilean food is greasy but it’s DELICIOUS.
Otherwise there’s always plenty of options, including vegetarian!