Chile is a South American country with a Spanish-speaking population as well as indigenous Indian tribes. The Chile Calendar is dominated by Christian holidays which are also legislated as public holidays. You will also find patriotic holidays to commemorate significant historical events.
New Year’s Day:
The Chile new year opens with New Year’s Day on 1 January. This is a day to celebrate the beginning of a new year. The holiday is known as Año Nuevo in Spanish. Most shops and companies are closed on this day according to parliamentary regulations.
Good Friday: As a country with strong Christian roots, Chile commemorates Good Friday, which is known as Viernes Santo in Spanish. The dates for Good Friday vary each year, according to the Christian calendar. But they usually fall in the months of March and April.
Holy Saturday: The day after Good Friday is known as Holy Saturday in Chile. It is part of Easter, a day when Jesus had already been crucified. The holiday is known as Sábado Santo in the Spanish language.
Labour Day: The day of 1 May is Labour Day. This is an international holiday, which is supported by the United Nations. The Chile laws do not allow shops and companies to be open on this day. This is a day for workers rights and acknowledgement of their contributions to the society.Labour Day is known as Día del Trabajo in Spanish.
Navy Day: This holiday is celebrated on 21 May. It is known as Día de las Glorias Navales in Spanish. The President of Chile gives a speech to commemorate the Battle of Iquique.
Saint Peters Day: This is a Christian holiday observed on the 2nd of July to commemorate one of the Disciples of Christ – St Peter. It is known as San Pedro in Spanish
Saint Pauls Day: This Christian holiday is held on the same day as St Peters Day. It is a day to commemorate St Paul, one of the apostles of Christ after his death. It is known as San Pablo in Spanish. The commemoration ceremonies for St Paul and St Peter are usually held together and they are known as San Pedro y San Pablo
Our Lady of Mount Carmel: This is a Christian holiday held on 16 July. It is known as Virgen del Carmen in the Spanish language. This holiday was established in 2007 by the Catholic Church to replace another Christian holiday that was in place, known as Corpus Christi.
Assumption of Mary: This is a Christian holiday which takes place on 15 August. It is known as Asunción de la Virgen in Spanish.
Bridge Holiday: This is a provisional holiday that comes into effect when September 17 is a Monday or when September 20 is a Friday. It is known as Fiestas Patrias in Spanish.
The month of September has two holidays:
National Holiday: On 18 September, the formation of the first junta in 1810 is commemorated. It is known as Fiestas Patrias in Spanish.
Army Day: On 19 September, the Army is celebrated. This day is known as Dia de las Glorias del Ejercito in Spanish.
The month of October has two holidays:
Columbus Day: On 15 October, Columbus Day is celebrated. This is a day to celebrate culture and diversity. It is known as Dia del Descubrimiento de Dos Mundos in Spanish.
Municipal Election: Every four years, Municipal elections are held in the month of October on the last Sunday. Elections were held on 28 October in 2012.The date may vary depending on which last day of October is a Sunday. This holiday is known as Elecciones Municipales.
The month of November has three holidays:
All Saints Day: This is observed on 1 November by Christians around the country. It’s an international holiday that is observed by members of the Western & Eastern churches. On the Eastern Christian Calendar, All Saints Day celebrates all the dead saints. On the Western Christian Calendar, All Saints’ Day celebrates dead souls who have achieved the beatific state i.e. those who have made it to heaven. The holiday is known as Dia de Todos los Santos in Spanish.
Reformation Day: On 2 November is Reformation Day, also known as Dia Nacional de las Iglesias Evangelicas y Protestantes in Spanish. This is celebrated by protestant Christians, and has been celebrated since 2008.
Immaculate Conception: On 8 November, is the day of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Immaculada Concepcion in Spanish. This is observed by Christians to celebrate the birth of Virgin Mary, who was born without sin.
The Chile Calendar ends the year with two holidays in December:
Christmas Day: On 25 December is Christmas Day, also known as Navidad / Natividad del Senor in Spanish. This is a day to mark the birth of Jesus on planet Earth, the Son of God who came to earth as a human being.
Banking Holiday: On 31 December is Banking Holiday, also known as Feriado bancario de fin de ano in Spanish. This is a holiday for employees of banking institutions. Shops and other industries are open on this day, but employees are usually given half a day, to prepare for New Year celebrations.