There are countries, and those countries celebrate the day they became an independent one (or celebrate the day of formation). But, there is no celebration like the we have in Chile. I know I am Chilean, and I might be biased, but when I say that I don't necessarily mean it in a good way. In this narrow and long country people celebrate "El 18" like there is not tomorrow left to celebrate. In Chile, in comparison, there is no Christmas, new years eve, Queen's birthday that comes close to "El 18". In a sad note, this is the week where more people dies from car related accidents in the year.
To start, it is not 1 day, but a whole week where Chileans party, and when we party -like good Latinos- we party hard. Nobody cares that on that day we commemorate the proclamation of the First Governing Body in 1810, making the beginning of the independence process. Who was getting the independence and from who again? nobody knows, not after 5 piscolas anyway (traditional pisco and coke drink). What do we know? that week you organize barbecues, drink piscola and chicha (fermented grape drink), eat empanadas (yes, similar to the ones we have in Exotik) and dance cueca and cumbia. Who cares that nobody really knows how to dance cueca (national dance), because honestly, who is looking after a week of drinking and heavy eating....or the other way around. And don't worry if you missed this celebration, the following week we celebrate AGAIN!, we call it the small 18th (dieciocho chico), it is just an small version of the previous celebration, just so the change to normal life goes gradually. Like 2 weeks long hangover.