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Chilean Indigenous Peoples Public Holiday Officialized

Source: Ministerio del Trabajo y Previsión Social (Valparaiso)
Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2021


Chile's Congress has approved the addition of the Indigenous Peoples Public Holiday on the date of the southern hemisphere's winter solstice, unanimously in the Senate, and by 120 for, 4 against and 2 abstentions, in the Chamber of Deputies.

Almost 15 years ago, a bill had been introduced in Chile's legislative assembly to make June 24, the indigenous Mapuche New Year, a public holiday throughout Chile (2007-12-12, 2009-10-08 and 2007-07-06).

The topic came back to the fore a couple of years ago (2019-09-04 and 2019-06-24), and a year later, Chile's President, Sebastián Piñera, announced that he would soon introduce legislation to make Indigenous New Year (We Tripantu), on June 24, a new annual public holiday in Chile (2020-11-10).

The initial version of the bill passed by the Chilean Lower House (2021-05-26), had the new annual We Tripantu public holiday replacing the current Encounter of Two Worlds public holiday, on October 12, sand this new public holiday moved to the Monday closest to June 24.

But the final version will not have any existing public holidays canceled, and the date of the Día de los Pueblos Originarios will always be that of the astronomical solstice ("Declárase feriado legal el día del solsticio de invierno de cada año en el hemisferio sur, Día Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas"), except in 2021 when this new public holiday will be observed on June 21 instead of June 20 ("Excepcionalmente, para el año 2021, el feriado legal a que se refiere el artículo único de la presente ley corresponderá al día 21 de junio de dicho año.").

This new public holiday further amends the list of bank holidays and non-working public holidays in Chile for the calendar year 2021 and 2022 (2020-10-31 and 2019-10-04).



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