How do you celebrate the independence of your country?

Once you are in Dublin, you will realize how much multiculturalism this city hosts. It is actually unbelievable. The mix of cultures is so enchanting and, for that reason, it is impossible not to be excited and eager to know more about those many countries represented here by your classmates, housemates, work colleagues, etc. And, do you know what? It is because of this mixture of people, languages, and cultures that we can see that, even though we may live apart from each other, we are so similar. Including, in our historical dates! “But, how come?”, you might have asked. I will explain it to you!

To my surprise, I discovered that Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica, countries which are very well represented here in Dublin, celebrate their Independence Days in the same month: September. Brazil, the first one, on the 7th, followed by Costa Rica, on the 15th, after comes Mexico, on the 16th, and finally Chile, on the 18th.

Because of this, we will unify the cultures and explain to you how, usually, those countries commemorate this special day in their history. Thereby, even though you are in Ireland, you won’t miss that amazing taste and feeling of being at home.

September 7th – Brazil’s Independence Day

As a good Brazilian, I’ll tell you what happens in my tropical country. As usual, the commemorations of September 7th always start with the Military Parade or Parade of September 7th. This parade, which takes place on the main avenues of the Brazilian capitals, constitutes the parade of all Brazilian armed forces, as a way of thanking them for their service. In the capital of the country, Brasilia, the parade has even greater significance, when the President of the Republic makes a review of the 3 forces: Army, Navy and Air Force. In the states: in addition to the 3 forces, the parade also gives space to the Military Police and the Military Fire Department.

Furthermore, the schools also perform parades in the neighborhoods in commemoration of the date, with competitions for school martial bands. It is a parade that brings together many families in the streets, usually dressed in green and yellow and where children, especially, have a lot of fun.

On the same day, the Scream of the Excluded takes place- as soon as the parade ends, social movements take the streets and make their case for improving the lives of the poor.

After the parade, we go straight to a classic Brazilian lunch:  feijoada. I believe that, because it is a huge country, full of micro-cultures in each region, this dish may vary slightly, but few Brazilians refuse a good feijoada. Always with many types of meat, white rice, braised cabbage and some slices of orange for after lunch, it is all we need.

September 15th – Costa Rica’s Independence Day

“In Rome, do as the Romans”, that is why I talked my dear Costa Rican friend, Allan, to know exactly how they celebrate their Independence Day, and let me tell you guys: I was completely impressed and excited! ”We start the celebrations on the night before the 15th, with “Recorrido de Faroles”, which is a parade where kids enjoy together with friends and family and lighting up the night with handmade falores, singing Costa Rican traditional songs and letting everyone know that the Independence Day is about to start. The next morning, we have a parade with bands, “percussion” which fill our hearts with pride and our traditions to remind people it’s time to celebrate just to understand how it is thought about Rose’s parade but just Costa Rican song and everyone dressing up the with the colors of our flag. During the parade, we do presentations of Costa Rican dance and at night there is another parade again, we just want to keep celebrating our Independence Day.

September 16th – Mexico’s Independence Day

Of course, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity of inviting my great friend from Mexico, Mariano, to tell me more about their Independence Day Celebration. According to him, one of the most representative parties of Mexicans, is undoubtedly the national party in September. Every year we commemorate, remember and celebrate their independence, shouting in one voice, VIVA MEXICO. “The whole country is adorned with the colors of the flag, restaurants prepare special menus with typical dishes of the season such as the pozole, guacamole or chiles in Nogada and from the most populous neighborhoods to the most exclusive hotels, organize the famous “Mexican nights” enlivened with music from Mariachi, Tequila and snacks”, Mariano explains.

He continues by saying that “without a doubt if we talk about culinary art, Mexico has one of the richest gastronomies in which thousands of tourists come to enjoy typical food and witness the traditional shout of independence in the heart of Mexico City, which is made by the President of Mexico from the National Palace in the main square on the night of September 15th. However, it does not matter if we are in Mexico or another country, because as Mexicans we celebrate the party with music, food, tequila, and much joy”. Wasn’t him right?

September 18th – Chile’s Independence Day

And the last Independence Day of this month is celebrated in Chile. Daisy, a Chilean friend told me, because in Chile “El Dieciocho” is the most important date for all Chileans.

It has been celebrated since 1811, on September 18 and 19 and although the official holiday only occurs during these two days, the celebrations can last a week. The “Act of Independence” was signed on February 12, 1818, but on September 18, 1810, the “First National Government Board” was established. This is a way to commemorate the entire independence process. The next day, on September 19, the glories of the Army are celebrated with the traditional “Parada Militar”.

Fiestas Patrias is the best time to try the most traditional dance, foods and drinks of Chile. Pine empanadas are a classic food of this date: a fried pie filled with ground beef, onion, hard-boiled egg, raisins, and olives. Of course, these tasty empanadas are best washed with an “earthquake”. This sugary drink is made with pineapple ice cream, a sweet white wine and fernet, a herbal liqueur, or grenadine. The seemingly sweet earthquake does not get its name “terremoto” for nothing, so drink with caution.

Ramadas are usually installed throughout the country, which is where the party begins, mixing music and dance of national folklore with dishes and drinks typical of Chilean cuisine.

Another important thing on these dates is that it is mandatory to raise the Chilean flag in all private and public precincts of the country, if it is not done they are fined.

The “asados” or barbecues are another essential element for the celebrations of National Holidays. The anticuchos, or meat skewers, are cooked on the grill and usually include beef, sausages, onions and peppers. The choripanes are also common grub: grilled sausage served with freshly baked marraqueta bread and a tomato, onion, coriander and garlic sauce called “pebre”.

And of course typical games are also played such as horse racing, “la rayuela” a common game which involves the strategic launch of a heavy disk. Another popular game during these celebrations would be the “emboque”, which is a cup and ball toy, often played by children and is the tradition to fly kites during these celebrations as well.

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