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Day of the Glories of the Army – September 19, 2023

The Day of the Glories of the Army is a Chilean national holiday commemorated on September 19 as the grand finale of the country’s Independence Day celebrations on September 18. Since 1819, the parade has included all of Chile’s armed forces, including the Chilean Navy, Chilean Air Force, and Carabineros de Chile. The occasion, held yearly in O’Higgins Park, Santiago, has been an official holiday since a law was passed in 1915. It is also the anniversary of the First Government Junta’s inauguration in 1810, which saw the independent nation’s first military parade in Santiago.

History of Day of the Glories of the Army

Chile’s Day of the Glories of the Army was designated an official holiday in 1915 to remember the brave individuals who fought in the country’s battles and protected the country. While the country was under Spanish rule, a military parade was held whenever a new governor-general took office in Santiago. The First Government Junta’s formal inauguration took place in the city on September 19, 1810, as the first military parade of the new nation.

On September 28, 1819, a parade with all the nation’s army units was held to celebrate the victory in the Chilean War of Independence. President Joaquin Prieto ordered a military exercise on La Pampilla fields in 1831, and President Manuel Bulnes obtained lands in the Pampilla area for annual military parades in 1842, leading to its transformation into a military installation in 1845. It became O’Higgins Park in 1873 following the efforts of Luis Cousiño, who was inspired by European parks and decided to infuse a similar design with Chilean features. He commissioned Manuel Arana to design it, and Arana included the Field of Mars that has been used in the annual military parades since.

The parade has been held consistently, even after the tragedies of 1910, with the addition of the Air Force and the Carabineros de Chile in subsequent years.

Day of the Glories of the Army timeline

1536
Spain’s First Invasion of Chile

Diego de Almagro and his crew arrive in Chile hoping to find gold.

1810
Chile Proclaims Independence

After Napoleon Bonaparte overthrows the King of Spain, the Government Junta of Chile declares Chile’s independence.

1964
Chile Enters a New Era

President Eduardo Frei Montalva enacts several major reforms.

2017
A New President

Former conservative president Sebastián Piñera wins another presidential election.

Day of the Glories of the Army FAQs

Does Chile have a strong military?

The Chilean Armed Forces have transformed into one of the region’s most technologically advanced and professional militaries following several major equipment programs.

How do Chileans celebrate Independence Day?

The ‘Fiestas Patrias’ mark the events surrounding the nation’s struggle for independence on September 18 and 19. The celebrations include parades, traditional Chilean cowboys, dancing, partying, traditional food, and displays of national pride.

What is Chile known for?

Chile is renowned for its stunning landscapes and world-famous wine and beer, diverse culture of art, history, famous Chileans, and food.

How to Observe Day of the Glories of the Army

  1. Visit Chile

    Chile is a beautiful country that many people from around the world have enjoyed visiting. See the grand military parades on the Day of the Glories of the Army in person!

  2. Learn about Chile

    Do some fun research to learn more about the country and the amazing things it has to offer. Chile has many interesting facts that we’re sure you’ll be glad to discover.

  3. Speak the language

    Chile’s official language is Spanish. Brushing up your Spanish knowledge is an excellent way to participate in this holiday.

5 Facts About Chile That You Didn’t Know

  1. It’s the world’s longest country

    Chile stretches from North to South in a narrow strip.

  2. It’s the southernmost country

    Bordering the South Pacific Ocean, Chile is one of South America’s southernmost countries.

  3. It has three boundaries

    Chile shares borders with three other countries: Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.

  4. It’s highly populated

    As of 2022, Chile has a population of over 19 million people, with the majority residing in the central valley region surrounding Santiago, the capital city.

  5. Its capital honors a saint

    In 1541, Spanish explorer Pedro de Valdivia named what would become the country’s capital ‘Santiago del Nuevo Extrema’ in honor of Spain’s patron saint, James the Great.

Why Day of the Glories of the Army is Important

  1. It’s patriotic

    The Day of the Glories of the Army encourages patriotism among Chileans. The day’s events unite the locals and invite them to celebrate the nation’s long history.

  2. It’s historic

    The holiday helps preserve Chilean history. It is a reminder of the country’s past and helps younger generations understand their roots.

  3. It’s fun

    Chileans have a lot of fun celebrating the Day of the Glories of the Army. They look forward to the day’s parades and other activities every year.

Day of the Glories of the Army dates

YearDateDay
2023September 19Tuesday
2024September 19Thursday
2025September 19Friday
2026September 19Saturday
2027September 19Sunday

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