Happy 4th July, which we all know – thanks in big part to Will Smith – as the American Independence Day.

Americans of all ages will be going wild with celebrations today, but SURPRISE, the US isn’t the only country with an Independence Day.

What people tend to forget is that July also marks the start of a whole season of equally exciting Independence Day celebrations in Latin America. And, as we all know, no one puts on a celebration quite like the Latinos do.

To celebrate the start of this exciting time of the year, Chimu Adventures has nominated its Top Latin America Independence fiestas:

 

Colombia: 20 July

A rather ‘casual’ celebration of all things Colombian, Independence Day in Colombia is as fun for the grandparents as it is for the kids. Usual activities include soccer games, face-painting, traditional music and dance as well as a range of traditional foods such as empanadas and tamales.

 

Peru: 29 July

Peru

Peru’s famous Fiestas Patrias are celebrated for two days and involve a variety of celebrations of all kinds with the most iconic activities being parades, fireworks and fairs selling national products and indigenous foods and crafts.

Plazas and parks come to life with the sounds of a variety of folk and Creole music. At the centre of the celebrations is, however, the president’s speech to the nation, the hoisting of the flag and the traditional military parades.

 

Bolivia: 6 August

Image: bolivia-facts.com

Image: bolivia-facts.com

Probably one of the most colourful independence day celebrations not just in South America but in the world, Bolivia’s ‘Dia de la Patria’ offers a two-day jubilee packed with marches, parades, street dances and carnivals, and cultural events reflecting the rich heritage of the country.

 

Costa Rica: 15 September

Costa Rica

Like most other Latin American countries, Costa Rica’s Independence Day celebrations are not limited to just one day. TV and radio stations broadcast Costa Rica’s National Anthem before the popular parades begin.

At Costa Rica’s parades, school children practice for months to march along with their bands, wearing traditional costumes, colourful skirts and straw hats.

 

Chile: 18 September

Chile Cowboys

Also referred to as ‘el dieciocho’, this is the day Chileans put their cowboy hat on (literally!) to celebrate the culinary and cultural wonders rooted in central Chile’s rural cowboy traditions.

From dancing the national dance, cueca, traditional games including kite-flying, the 18th is a highlight of the year for every Chilean and celebrations usually last till up to a week.

How many Latin American Independence Day celebrations have you joined?