Fiestas Patrias Outdoors

Fiestas Patrias Outdoors

It was that time of year again recently, when the whole country stops to celebrate its heritage and the coming of Spring: it’s Fiestas Patrias. So it seemed only natural that this year’s national celebration take place outside. And the perfect location was less than a couple of hours away -- in Cajon Del Maipo.

It was that time of year again recently, when the whole country stops to celebrate its heritage and the coming of Spring. It’s Fiestas Patrias, highlighted by the Big Day: Dieciocho de Septiembre (September 18). And I’ve been here long enough now to know that one of the great loves of most residents in this geographic wonderland called Chile is the outdoors. So it seemed only natural that this year’s national celebration take place not in the confines of my well-worn quincho (BBQ pavilion) or at one of the many public festivals honoring everything Chilean (see prior post: Chiles Festivals of Festivals), but rather outside. The only challenge: where to go to relish in Chile’s great outdoors while still avoiding airport crowds and heavy highway traffic. The answer was less than a couple of hours away; Cajon Del Maipo.

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¡Chile’s Festival of Festivals!

¡Chile’s Festival of Festivals!

During Fiestas Patrias it's easy to see how standing among crowds of proud Chileans, chewing a slice of flame-roasted cordero to the traditional rhythm of the evocative Cuenca, brings the nation back to its Andean roots. 

Nearly every country in the world has a national festival that brings its people together for a common party. On National Day, Singapore has a grand pageant of lights, jets, fireworks and dancers celebrating their history at Marina Bay. In the US, neighborhoods across the nation hold local Independence Day parades of walkers, cyclists and patriotically-festooned wagons crowded with kids and pets pulled by parents. Polished fire trucks and police cars are on display, local dignitaries make appearances and for a day everyone puts aside their political differences, looks to the night sky for fireworks and feels pretty good about their country. It’s a beautiful thing.

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