Friday, September 23, 2011

El Dieciocho

September 18th is the Chilean Independence Day, or more commonly referred to as the Dieciocho. It is the start of a two day holiday celebration known here as Fiestas Patrias. 

But before I begin my post about how I celebrated the 18th here in Chile, I have much more important news to report. The 18th will hold an even more special place in my heart because it is the day that my niece Charley was born. Charley is now tied with her big sister Ella as being the cutest nieces in the world. So congrats to my oldest brother Eric and his wife Penn for creating yet another adorable child.

I get to hold her in just 4 short months!

Okay, back to Chile. The most common way to celebrate the Dieciocho is by attending a fonda. A fonda is similar to a county fair, but with no rides or deep-fried Twinkies. Vendors set up stalls selling various types of Chilean cuisine. Copious amounts of alcohol are consumed including pisco and chicha, a fermented wine based drink. In the larger fondas you can find dancing and rodeos. 

All of this information I collected from my two main sources of Chilean culture: Wikipedia and my mom. I didn’t actually attend a fonda this year. Instead, my friends and I went walking through an area of Santiago called Patio Bellavista, an outdoor area comprised of numerous bars, shops and restaurants. We settled on a bar serving the third most popular type of Chilean food: sushi. (First and second on the list are empanadas and barbecued meat, or asado as it is referred to here.)

Worth noting is that I did drink Chilean beer that night. The bar was serving Kuntsmann beer, brewed in the south of Chile. I just ordered it because the name made me giggle immensely.

To end, here are some photos I took from the roof of my friend’s apartment building overlooking downtown Santiago.

View from 21 floors up

Gabriel and Seba

Me and Ale

View from the other side


  1. Gorgeous pictures Maggie! The views at night are truly awesome and baby Charley is adorable. The thought of being up on that roof makes me queasy though. Glad you enjoyed the dieciocho, even if you ended up eating sushi!

  2. I didn't mention in my last comment - but I wanted you to know that both Joe and I think your posts and your writing have progressed so wonderfully in this last year. Your insights and comments on a brand new culture are always thoughtful and we love your sense of humor. You seem to have a knack to focus on things that most foreigners usually miss. We are so very proud of you!