Last week every single house flew the Chilean flag, cars put flags on their bonnets and way too much meat was barbecued.
Last week lots of Cueca was danced, empanadas were eaten and reggaeton was played.
Last week was the 199th anniversary of Chile's independance from Spain, and being the patriotic country it is, it sure was celebrated!
On the Wednesday there were activities at school, traditional dances from Rapa Nui (easter island), Mapuche dances (the native inhabitants of Chile), Cueca, and a lot more.
A lot of people, especially the younger ones, came to school in traditional costume, which for girls is either a colourful patterned dress and white socks, or a long black skirt, white blouse and black jacket, and for men is black trousers and jacket, hat, poncho, boots and spurs and shin guards (my host sister also wasn't lying when she said that the guys look exquite in their 'huaso' clothes).
At a large park in Copiapó was a colection of stages, where different groups supposedly played traditional music, which sounded a lot more like Cumbia (tropical) to me, and people danced, there was a market and traditional food stalls.
So what are some of the traditional Chilean 18th September foods?
-First, empanadas, a meat turnover.
-Choripan, which is Chorizo sausage in a bread roll.
-Churrasca, thin bread rounds cooked on a barbecue.
-Ferros, meat skewers with capsicum and onion.
-Mote con Huesillos, which is barley with a syrup and rehydrated peach (sounds strange but it's yummy)
That's all I can think of for now, but so much barbecued meat shouldn't be eaten in one day!
In my family, we celebrated my driving two hours south to my uncle and aunt's in Vallenar, where, like every family in Chile, we had a barbecue, with lots of yummy food and salads, a typical family get together, making the skewers together, sharing a meal and sharing laughs. It went well.
Also, another interesting fact is that it is illegal NOT to fly the Chilean flag from your house on the 18th!