Figure 1: Map
Copyright@2004 Highbury Columbus Travel Publishing Ltd.
This website is about the celebration of Independence Day in Chile, South America. This celebration is very prominent in their culture and represents many significant concepts and struggles, such as political freedom, that the people have overcome. Within this site, I will discuss a brief history of Chile and its region, as well as the various influences this celebration has on the nation. Patriotism and the freedoms of religion, politics, and economics are just a few of the main emphases of this national celebration.
Landscape of Chile chile_45.jpg.<http://www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk /images/by_country/chile/chile_45.jpg>. Date accessed:
3: Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean military leader g.22.0.jpg.<http://www.puc.cl/faba/ARTE/FOTOS/ FULL/GCASTRO/g.22.0.jpg>.Date
Figure 2: Landscape of Chile
Date accessed: 9/17/04.
Figure 3: Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean military leader
Chile is located in South America bordering Argentina to the east and Bolivia and Peru to the north (See Figure 1). It is approximately 4,000 km (2,485 miles) long and the Andes Mountains run the full length of it. The climate varies depending on location; from the Atacama desert , snow-clad Andean peaks, to farmlands where fruits are grown and livestock is raised (See Figure 2). There are roughly 12 million inhabitants in Chile – one fourth are of European decent and the remainder is mainly Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry). Four million people live in Santiago, the capital (See Figure 1), and approximately 400,000 Mapuche Indians, a group of Araucanians, still live in reservations or reducciones (Gall 1998: 103).
Pedro de Valdivia established the first Spanish settlement in Santiago in 1541. However, conflicts with the Spanish conquerors led the Chilean military leader, Bernardo O'Higgins (See Figure 3), to join forces with José de San Martín of Argentina to free the Chileans from Spanish rule. In 1818, O'Higgins became the first ruler of the newly independent Republic of Chile. Today Chile is a democracy with both a senate and house of representatives (Gall 1998: 103).
Independence Day is one of the days to commemorate the wars of the 19th century (Gall 1998: 104). This celebration dates back to September 18, 1810 when Chile first declared independence from Spain; however, it wasn't until February 12, 1818 that it received complete independence (Henderson 1997: 81). The following day, September 19, the “Day of the Glory of the Armed Forces” is celebrated with a military parade (Gall 1998: 104). Both of these dates accentuate the importance of Chile's independence.
Figure 4: La cueca, Chile's national dance, is performed at street fesitvals and holiday celebrations.
cue.jpg.<www.educarchile.cl/humano2/h2/asp/home.asp?id...>. Date accessed: 10/06/04.
This celebration is still very popular and the number of tourists who come to see this festival is increasing. There are parades, festivities, national food favorites, music, and beverages available. This is a treasured celebration and the folklore demonstrations of dance, costumes, and legends bring in the crowds of people from near and afar (Hamre 2004).
Chile's Independence Day is an important day in which the people of Chile can come together and have a new sense of unity and purpose (Hudson 1994: 133). The celebration gives them a sense of joy, pleasure, spirit, and progression. Symbolic figures or objects, such as past heroes, represent the message and motive of the occasion (Dorson 1982). Independence Day celebrates the courage of the Chilean people and reminds everyone that no matter how great the struggle, it important to keep trying for the desired goal (MacMillan 1997: 44).
2004 Chile 's Fiestas Patrias. Electronic document,
http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/a/ChileDieciocho.htm, accessed November 7, 2004.
Discussion of popular festivals and customs in Chile.
- Holidays. Electronic document,
accessed November 16, 2004.
Discussion of Chile's most important civic holiday, Independence Day.
- Kilgour, David
Celebrating Chilean Independence. Electronic document,
accessed November 16, 2004.
Website is parts of speech given by Secretary of State in remembrance of Chilean independence.
Structure of the Economy. U. S. Library of Congress. Electronic
document, http://www.countrystudies.us/chile/69.htm ,
accessed November 16, 2004.
Focus on Chilean economic issues from past years and other aspects of Chilean history.
Dorson, Richard M.
1982 Material Components in Celebration. In Celebration: Studies in Festitvity and Ritual . Victor Turner, ed, pp. 33-57. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
Gall, Timothy L.
1998 Chileans. In Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life Volume 2 – Americas, edited by Timothy L. Gall, pp. 103-107. Gall Research, Detroit, MI.
Henderson, Helen, and S. E. Thompson
1997 Chile Independence Day. In Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, edited by Helene Henderson and S. E. Thompson, pp.81. 2nd Ed. Omnigraphics, Inc., Detroit, MI.
Hudson, Rex A.
1994 The Society and Its Environment. In Chile : a country of study, edited by Rex A. Hudson, pp. 120-134. 3 rd Ed., Federal Research Division, Library of Congress.
MacMillan, Dianne M.
1997 Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo. Enslow Publishers, Inc. Springfield, NJ.
Nussbaum, Martha C. et al
1996 For Love of Country. Beacon Press, Boston, MA.
Sigmund, Paul E.
1977 The Overthrow of Allende. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
2000 Houghton Mifflin Company.
Turner, Victor, and Edith Turner
1982 Religious Celebrations. In Celebration: Studies in Festivity and Ritual. Victor Turner, ed, pp. 201-219. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.