Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fiestas Patrias

The Phoenix, of
Chilean miner fame
The Fiestas Patrias are the two most important days in the Chilean calendar, and they mark both the beginning of the Chilean independence process from Spain (September 18) and the Army Day (September 19). However, for most Chileans it's a great excuse to eat huge quantities of meat, drink a lot, and dance some cueca. Although only a 2 day holiday, the government decided that, seeing as the fiestas fall on a Tuesday and Wednesday, they'd better give everyone the Monday off as well so we can all have a 5 day weekend. Not bad.

Unfortunately, my dieciocho (meaning 18th, cunningly), was somewhat spoiled by some unfortunate timetableing constraints with a TurBus, which meant that I spent the day on a coach back from San Pedro watching Undisputed 1, 2 and 3 badly dubbed into Spanish. Not exactly what I had planned.

However, the next day I went to a fonda with Ignacio and Soledad in a local park. A fonda is basically a sort of temporary outdoor fair, where they put together a mix of eateries, bars and entertainment together with more Chilean flags than I've ever seen in my life. They're hugely popular, and this is where pretty much everyone goes over the fiestas patrias.

Meat being cooked on a traditional wooden fire.
Me and Ignacio (plus randomer in background) with Terremotos
Chorillana: chips, steak, chorizo, egg and onion.
A Chilean cowboy, aka Huaso
Traditional rodeo with huasos

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