I can hardly believe it’s been a year since the last September 18th!
Time for Chile’s Fiestas Patrias & Dieciocho celebrations.
I have really become fond of this time of year. While the weather isn’t exactly fantastic, often times cold and rainy, it is an incredibly unique and unforgettable experience to be here for “the celebration of all celebrations”.
In fact, the decorations and the vacation time for this holiday surpasses those at Christmastime.
Lines of brightly colored Chilean flags boldly wave on flag posts out front of every house, from large haciendas to pueblito row houses. All automobiles on the road display flags covering side windows, suction cupped to various areas of the car, or hanging from the rear view window. (It is the law, after all). Street-side tiendas and large shopping centers alike overflow with cueca dresses, handkerchiefs (panuelos), huaso costumes, asado (grill) supplies, and red, white and blue decorations. Men, women and children adorned in their cueca or Mapuche gear can be seen dancing in the streets or plazas, walking to their next performance, or heading into school.
This year, both Maddie and Greyson performed the Cueca (Chile’s national dance) at their school, and Greyson’s class also performed a follow-up Nortino cueca.
It never ceases to amaze me that no matter where you are in the world, it seems that there is a form of traditional music and dance that brings great happiness to the people. Watching our children learn and share in that tradition here was unquestionably a recipe for happiness for all of us. In fact, they continue to pull up Cueca music on YouTube, whip out the handkerchiefs, and dance the Cueca at home together, instructing Ellie as they go. (Who was SO excited to have her own Cueca dress this year as well (-: