How to Celebrate las Fiestas Patrias in Chile
I’ve gathered a couple typical things to do for las Fiestas Patrias in Chile that you must experience at least once while you’re in Chile for such a celebrated holiday.
Have an Asado
It is typical to grill all types of meat cuts, mainly beef and pork, chorizos for Choripanes, and Anticuchos (a variety of meat on skewers), all with a side of Pebre (chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and sometimes peppers).
Go to a Fonda & Ramada
Fondas and Ramadas are my favorite things about Independence Day. Not only are they the central location where most of the food, dancing, and other activities take place, but some of them have themes catering to all tastes. Don’t be surprised if there’s a ramada hosting a drag show next to the ramada with punks and rockers watching a live band.Fondas and Ramadas easily noticeable with their thatched roofs made from tree branches, reminiscent of the Chilean countryside. Although fondas and ramadas are widely used interchangeably, traditionally fondas mainly serve food and drinks while ramadas also have a dance floor and often have cover charges. Coquimbo’s Pampilla is said to be the largest celebration, but Parque O’Higgins is the largest in Santiago.
Eat More Food: Empanadas
Drink Wine, Chicha, and Terremotos
Wine, national beers, Pisco, and everything in between are choice drinks to accompany the immense amount of food. What steals the show is Chicha, a sweet, distilled grape or apple based beverage that is almost exclusively drunk during the week. Melón con Vino (wine inside of a melon) is also a favorite, as well as the infamous Terremoto (pipeño wine, a bit of fernet, and a scoop of pineapple ice cream), all sweet ideas, but potent choices.
Watch, Learn, and Dance Cueca
Fly a Kite and Play Traditional Games
Although not so popular among the youth now, las Fiestas Patrias brings out all of Chile’s traditional games dating back to colonial times and countryside culture for fun and competition. Carnival-style rides, horse races, hopscotch, tug-of-war, sack and three-legged races, pole climbing, catching a pig, and spinning tops are all typical games for the young and old.
Go to Races in the Country
Go to a Rodeo
Listen to Payas
Brindo dijo un huaso moderno,
con sombrero y celular,
porque puedo decir payas,
en una realidad virtual.
Brindo dijo un picaflor
por todo lo que he picao
de tanto que he picao
el pico se me ha gastao.