What are the customs of Chile?

Traditional chilean festivals for children

The south of Chile is very popular as a vacation destination thanks to its majestic landscapes, rich gastronomy and cultural diversity that surprise both Chilean and foreign tourists, that is why in Cecinas Llanquihue we want to tell you some of these customs and traditions that you can enjoy during your stay in these latitudes.

The curanto is a typical dish of the south, more specifically of Chiloé, which is composed of fish, seafood, meat, sausages, vegetables and tubers, it can be made in a pot, but the most traditional is to make it in a hole, which in turn involves a huge and dedicated work.

It is made in an earthen pit, where all the ingredients are placed on burning stones and covered with nalca leaves and earth, which can take up to 2 hours of cooking. A very ancestral and traditional way of cooking that delights everyone who tries it.

This is another food that consists of a baked potato dough stuffed with chicharrón, and is made on a cylindrical stick of more than one meter long, which is turned over burning embers. This elaborate preparation may give you a clue as to why it is so difficult to find outside of the south.

Customs of southern chile

Is there a national identity? What distinguishes us as occupants of this territory? How do we recognize and value the different cultures that coexist in this long and narrow strip of land? And how do we create a social fabric in which we all feel part of it?

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photo_camera The idea of national identity as something homogeneous and compact, born in the 19th century as a way to consolidate the newborn State, is now being questioned, which can be a great opportunity to value the different existing identities, so that we all feel part of this territory. (Photo: iStock)

“I would not speak of a national identity as a set of attributes that define the country, but there are certain distinctive characteristics of Chilean men and women that distinguish us from others,” says Matías Bargsted, professor at the Institute of Sociology and researcher at the Center for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion, COES.

These narrow and homogeneous circles make our conception of society and our identity so too. However, as the sociologist expresses, the new generations have driven a strong questioning of the established, promoting the narrative of inequalities – towards native peoples, women, sexual minorities, etc. -, also making these groups visible.


There is no lack of reasons, each productive sector has one in different places and dates. In addition to the corn, cherry, chicha or watermelon festivals, there are gastronomic festivals with fruits of the sea and of the land, popular games and songs. It is a great diversity of celebrations, profane or religious, around a main celebration: the Fiestas Patrias that, during several days, commemorate the Independence of Chile to the rhythm of the cueca, the national dance, and toasts with red wine, chicha and empanadas.

In Chile, the national day is September 18 and also serves to anticipate spring in the fondas or ramadas, temporary sheds that host equally occasional taverns, offering typical food, empanadas, chicha and red wine, where they also dance cuecas and cumbias. Along with the commemoration of the first government junta of 1810, the 19th is also a holiday to commemorate the glories of the Army, with all uniformed branches parading in the main cities.

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Three customs of central Chile

In Chile, a country more than six thousand kilometers long, there is room for many things, many landscapes and many enriching differences. From the Inca north to the Patagonian south, passing through the valleys of the center, the customs of the Chileans show a surprising variety and richness.

If you are traveling through the Tarapacá region, be sure to visit La Tirana on July 16, with a very special festival in honor of the Virgin of Carmen. In September, Chileans suffer an “attack of patriotism” on the 18th and 19th, celebrating their independence and honoring their army and its victories.

What are the customs of Chile?
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