*Independence Day, Chile

*Fiestas Patrias or dieciocho

From Wikipedia:

“Bernardo O’Higgins, a member of the O’Higgins family, was born in the Chilean city of Chillán in 1778, the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O’Higgins, 1st Marquis of Osorno, a Spanish officer born in County Sligo, Ireland, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. His mother was Isabel Riquelme, a prominent local; the daughter of Don Simón Riquelme y Goycolea, a member of the Chillán Cabildo, or town council.

He was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. He was a wealthy landowner of Spanish and Irish ancestry. Although he was the second Supreme Director of Chile (1817–1823), he is considered one of Chile’s founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state…

…In 1808 Napoleon took control of Spain, triggering a sequence of events in South America. In Chile, the commercial and political elite decided to form an autonomous government to rule in the name of the imprisoned king Ferdinand VII; this was to be one of the first in a number of steps toward national independence, in which O’Higgins would play a leading role.

On 18 September 1810, O’Higgins joined the revolt against the now French dominated Spanish government. The criollo leaders in Chile did not support Joseph Bonaparte’s rule in Spain, and a limited self-government under the Government Junta of Chile was created, with the aim of restoring the legitimate Spanish throne. This date is now recognized as Chile’s Independence Day.”

From the website of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames:

Mayor helps mark borough’s connection with Chilean hero

Release Date: 20 August 2019

Richmond upon Thames’ unique connection with Chilean hero Bernardo O’Higgins was marked at a ceremony in Richmond today (20 August).

Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Cllr Nancy Baldwin joined delegates from the Chilean Embassy at O’Higgins Square in Richmond to mark the birth of one of the key figures in the Chilean independence movement and head of the country’s first national government.

Bernardo O’Higgins lived in Richmond for two years whilst he studied at Clarence House in The Vineyard, which used to be a private school. There is a blue plaque on the wall beside the house and a bust of O’Higgins in the square.

The Mayor said:

“We are incredibly proud of this very special connection between our borough and the people of Chile.

“It’s a connection that has endured for centuries, with a statue in Richmond commemorating Bernardo O’Higgins.  It was my pleasure to welcome the Chilean Ambassador to Richmond to celebrate our shared history.”

Chilean Ambassador, H.E. David Gallagher, added:

“Bernardo O’Higgins absorbed in Richmond many of the good ideas on freedom, justice and its rule of law that inspired him to liberate and govern Chile.” ”

From the tripsavvy website:

“One constant theme is the recognition and celebration of Chilenidad. Depending on where you are in Chile…you can also enjoy one or more of these regional highlights:

In Tarapaca, the Independence celebrations last all month with religious ceremonies, theatrical productions, and children’s activities.

In Antofagasta, kite flying competitions fill the clearing skies.

In Atacama, find 300 cuecas in the Copiapó’s Plaza de Armas, cueca competitions, and many rodeos.

In Coquimbo, see hundreds of children dancing the cueca, kite flying competitions and religious ceremonies and the traditional Pampilla de Coquimbo.

In and around Santiago, celebrate Semana Criolla which includes a rodeo, arts and crafts, food and drink, folklore presentations and children’s activities.

In Rancagua, site of the 1814 Battle of Rancagua against the Spanish forces in which Bernardo O’Higgins was defeated and subsequently took refuge with his men in the Cuevas de los Patriotas on the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, the exuberant celebrations include the National Rodeo Championships, music, dance and song.

In Maule, folkloric presentations, traditional Creole games, and equestrian events mark the Dieciochocelebrations.

In BíoBío, the Fiesta de la Chilenidad includes dance and cooking competitions, juegos tradicionales, music, and folkloric presentations.

In La Araucanía, the Semana del Folclor is a week-long celebration of regional and national folkloric traditions, cooking demonstrations, music, history, ethnicity, and everything that comprises Chilenidad.

In Aysén, you’ll find cooking demonstrations, national cuisine, dances, and sports events.”

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