This is a list of public holidays (national or otherwise) in Chile; about half of them are Christian holidays.

Dates for the year 2024

Month Day English Name Local Name Remarks
January 1 (Monday) New Year's Day Año Nuevo Mandatory holiday. Blue laws forbid opening of most services.
March 29 (Friday) Good Friday Viernes Santo
30 (Saturday) Holy Saturday Sábado Santo
May 1 (Wednesday) Labour Day Día del Trabajo Mandatory holiday. On this day, more stores and services will close than on any other holidays, as stipulated by blue laws.
21 (Tuesday) Navy Day Día de las Glorias Navales Commemorates the Battle of Iquique.
June 7 (Friday) Battle of Arica Asalto y Toma del Morro de Arica This is a regional holiday, valid only in the Arica and Parinacota Region.
9 (Sunday) Mayoral and regional governor primary elections Elecciones primarias de alcaldes y de gobernadores regionales This holiday occurred only in the two regions and sixty communes where primary elections took place.
20 (Thursday) National Day of Aboriginal Peoples Día Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas This holiday is to be observed on each Winter Solstice.
29 (Saturday) Saint Peter and Saint Paul San Pedro y San Pablo Officially on June 29, if this holiday falls on a day other than Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the holiday is usually held on the nearest Monday.
July 16 (Tuesday) Our Lady of Mount Carmel Virgen del Carmen Established in 2007, it replaced Corpus Christi. The Catholic Church's official name for this day is Solemnidad de la Virgen del Carmen, Reina y Patrona de Chile, but the law that created this holiday (20,148) does not use it.[1]
August 15 (Thursday) Assumption of Mary Asunción de la Virgen
20 (Tuesday) Nativity of Liberator Bernardo O'Higgins Nacimiento del Prócer de la Independencia This is a local holiday, valid only in the communes of Chillán and Chillán Viejo.
September 18 (Wednesday) Independence Day Fiestas Patrias Mandatory holiday. Celebrates the establishment of the First Government Council in 1810.
19 (Thursday) Army Day Día de las Glorias del Ejército Mandatory holiday.
20 (Friday) National holiday Fiestas Patrias
October 12 (Saturday) Columbus Day Encuentro de Dos Mundos Colloquially known as Día de la Raza ("Race Day") or formally by its older name (Aniversario del Descubrimiento de América). Officially on October 12, if this holiday falls on a day other than Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the holiday is usually held on the nearest Monday.
27 (Sunday) Municipal and regional elections Elecciones municipales y regionales
31 (Thursday) Reformation Day Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes Established in 2008. This holiday moves in relation to the day of week.[2]
November 1 (Friday) All Saints Día de Todos los Santos
24 (Sunday) Runoff regional governor elections Elecciones de gobernadores regionales (segunda vuelta) This holiday will occur only in the regions where a regional governor runoff election shall take place.
December 8 (Sunday) Immaculate Conception Inmaculada Concepción
25 (Wednesday) Christmas Day Navidad / Natividad del Señor Mandatory holiday.

History

On January 28, 1915, President Ramón Barros Luco promulgated Law 2,977,[3] which organized all available information regarding holidays celebrated in Chile. It established or retained the following holidays:

  1. Sundays year-round.
  2. January 1 (Feast of the Circumcision of Christ at the time; New Year in the late 20th and 21st centuries), June 29 (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul), August 15 (Assumption of Mary), December 8 (Immaculate Conception), December 25 (Christmas Day), and the movable holidays of the Ascension of Jesus Christ and Corpus Christi.
  3. Fridays and Saturdays during Holy Week.
  4. September 18, Establishment of the First Government Junta in 1810.
  5. September 19 and May 21, in celebration of the achievements of the Army and the Navy.
  6. The day of election of electors of the President of the Republic.

The same law abolished, by omission, four religious holidays: Epiphany (Adoración de los Santos Reyes, January 6), Carnival (Carnaval, movable), Annunciation (Anunciación del Señor, March 25), and Nativity of the Virgin Mary (Natividad de la Virgen, September 8). It also shortened the national independence holiday to two days (until 1914, they occupied September 18, 19, and 20).

On November 14, 1921, President Arturo Alessandri Palma promulgated Law 3,810,[4] designating October 12 (Columbus Day) as a holiday. On April 30, 1931, President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo promulgated the Decree Enforceable as Law (Decreto con Fuerza de Ley) 130, marking May 1 (May Day) as a holiday.

In 1932, Provisional President Bartolomé Blanche reinstated the September 20 holiday,[5] which remained in effect until 1944.[6] In 1968, the holidays of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Ascension of Jesus Christ, and Corpus Christi were eliminated by Article 144 of Law 16,840.[7] The Catholic Church agreed to celebrate them on the nearest Sunday. September 11 (the day of the military coup in 1973) was established as a holiday (Día de la Liberación Nacional, "Day of National Liberation") by the military regime in 1981.[8] In 1998, it was replaced by the Día de la Unidad Nacional ("Day of National Unity"),[9] observed on the first Monday in September. In March 2002, the latter was abolished.[10] The holiday on June 29 (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) was reinstated in September 1985.[11] In 1987, during a visit by Pope John Paul II, Corpus Christi was reinstated[12] (although the Church continued to observe the holiday on the nearest Sunday[13]).

On March 10, 2000, Law 19,668[14] moved the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Columbus Day, and Corpus Christi holidays to the preceding Monday if they fell on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, or to the following Monday if they fell on a Friday. Additionally, the designation of Columbus Day was changed from Aniversario del Descubrimiento de América to Día del Descubrimiento de Dos Mundos ("Discovery of Two Worlds' Day"), which was an obvious adaptation of the then-recent ubiquitous Encuentro de dos mundos ("The Meeting of Two Worlds") slogan.[15][16][17][18][19]

On January 6, 2007, Law 20,148[20] replaced Corpus Christi with Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to be observed on July 16, starting that year. On September 14, 2007, Law 20,215.[21] declared holidays for all September 17s falling on a Monday and all September 20s falling on a Friday. On October 11, 2008, Law 20,299[22] established Reformation Day on October 31 as a national holiday, starting that year. This holiday is moved to the preceding Friday if it falls on a Tuesday or to the following Friday if it falls on a Wednesday. On April 30, 2013, Law 20,663 established the regional Battle of Arica holiday, to be observed only in the Arica and Parinacota region.[23] On December 30, 2016, Law 20,983[24] declared as holidays those days that are Monday, January 2, or Friday, September 17. On June 19, 2021, Law 21,357[25] declared the Winter Solstice as a holiday, honoring Chile's aboriginal peoples (pueblos originarios).

In addition to yearly holidays, presidential elections have been declared holidays since 1901, as mandated by successive versions of the General Elections law (Law 18,700,[26] being the current one; see laws 1,464,[27] 1,752,[28] 2,977,[3] decree-law 542,[29] 6,250,[30] 6,834, 9,334, and 12,891). Since the late 20th century, parliamentary and municipal elections are also public holidays (see Law 18,700[26]). Censuses, held every ten years, have been declared holidays since 1982; that year's census and 1992's were so due to ad-hoc laws;[31][32] censuses taken from 1992 onwards are declared holidays due to a reform in the Census law.[33] (This did not occur in 2012, where the census was carried out over two months, using a different methodology.)[34]

Meaning of the January 1 holiday

Shortly after Chile's independence, an 1824 (government-approved) Church decree[35][36] reduced the number of religious holidays, enumerating the surviving holidays, including the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, observed on January 1. Law 2,977 (passed in 1915, still in effect) lists this holiday by date only, without using any name, but it does treat it as a religious one.[37] However, as of 2009, it is widely celebrated as the (civic) New Year holiday.[38][failed verification] In fact, there are no known regulations later than 1915 that use the name "Circumcision of Christ," while "New Year" is used in numerous regulations of all types (laws (19.925[39]), decree-laws (decretos ley) (1.299,[40] 1.613[41] and 2,408[42]), decrees enforceable as law (decretos con fuerza de ley) (D.F.L. 338 of 1960[43]), ministerial decrees and resolutions (decree 6234 of 1929 of the Public Education Ministry[44] (the oldest such regulation), decree 83 of 1985 of the Labor Ministry,[45] decree 48 of 2007 of the Labor Ministry,[46] and so on) and municipal decrees and ordinances (decree 1316 of 2004 of the Las Condes Municipality,[47] decree 23 of 2006 of the Padre Las Casas Municipality,[48] decree 23 of 2009 of the San Carlos Municipality,[49] and so forth).

Notes

  1. ^ "law 20,148". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "Law 20,299". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Law 2,977". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "Law 3,810". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  5. ^ Decree-law 636, published in the 17/09/1932 edition of the Diario Oficial.
  6. ^ Law 8,223, published in the 13 September 1945 edition of the Diario Oficial.
  7. ^ "Law 16,840". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Law 18,026". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "Law 19,588". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Law 19,793". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  11. ^ "Law 18,432". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Law 18,607". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "Declaración sobre feriado de Corpus Christi (01/06/1987)". Jesus.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  14. ^ "Law 19,668". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  15. ^ "Encuentro de dos mundos". Educarchile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  16. ^ "CONMEMORACIÓN DEL QUINTO CENTENARIO DEL ENCUENTRO DE DOS MUNDOS (1492–1992)" (PDF). Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  17. ^ "1992: el año del encuentro de dos mundos". Buquedepapel.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  18. ^ Celebran el encuentro de dos mundos
  19. ^ 500 ańos del encuentro de dos mundos. Una perspectiva polaca.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "law 20,148". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  21. ^ "Law 20,215". Leychile.cl. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  22. ^ "Law 20,299". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  23. ^ "Law 20,663". Leychile.cl. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  24. ^ "Law 20,983". Leychile.cl. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  25. ^ "Law 21,357". Leychile.cl. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Law 18,700". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  27. ^ "Law 1,464". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  28. ^ "Law 1,752". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  29. ^ "Decree-law 542". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  30. ^ "Law 6,250". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  31. ^ "Law 18,116". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  32. ^ "Law 19,116". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  33. ^ "Law 19,790". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  34. ^ "I Love Chile News | I Love Chile News, Chile's Most Read English Language News Source". Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  35. ^ Boletín de Leyes y Decretos del Gobierno, 1839, tomo II, decreto de 9 de agosto de 1824, pp. 14–15
  36. ^ Peralta, Paulina (2007). ¡Chile tiene Fiesta, p. 59. LOM Ediciones, Santiago, Chile. ISBN 978-956-282-921-2.
  37. ^ "Law 2,977". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  38. ^ El blog de Héctor Velis-Meza: Desde cuándo se celebra el año nuevo
  39. ^ "Law 19,925". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  40. ^ "decree-law 1,299 of 1975". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  41. ^ "decree-law 1,613 of 1976". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  42. ^ "decree-law 2.408 of 1978". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  43. ^ "D.F.L. 338 of 1960". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  44. ^ "decree 6234 of 1929 of the Public Education Ministry". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  45. ^ "decree 83 of 1985 of the Labor Ministry". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  46. ^ "decree 48 of 2007 of the Labor Ministry". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  47. ^ "decree 1316 of 2004 of the Las Condes Municipality". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  48. ^ "decree 23 of 2006 of the Padre Las Casas Municipality". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  49. ^ "decree 23 of 2009 of the San Carlos Municipality". Leychile.cl. Retrieved November 14, 2011.

References