Customs and traditions of the island of Chiloé

The minga

Custom of the inhabitants of the island of Chiloé, representative of the pioneer spirit, which has survived until today. It consists of neighbors getting together to share the work when it is too important to be done by one man (sowing, harvesting, moving a house by road or sea...).

We thank our neighbors by inviting them to eat or by organizing a ball to symbolize the end of the work.

During the restoration of Castro's church, the municipality appealed to the community to help finance the work but also to participate in it.

If you have the opportunity to see a house being moved in February or March, don't miss this amazing moment that marked all those who were able to observe it!

The medan

Another ancient tradition of Chiloé, when a family needed an object or an animal, they could call on the family or relatives by inviting them to party or by organizing the medan ball. The head of the family was in charge of organizing the ball and the invited families had to bring the animal or object requested. When the harvests were bad and the inhabitants could not get certain products, the medan facilitated their circulation and limited the difficulties of supply of the inhabitants at these periods.

The feast of St. John 

It takes place on the day of the summer solstice, June 21, the longest day of the year. It is associated with beliefs and traditions that are surprising, to say the least. For example, on this day, the people of Chiloé will closely observe the potatoes that they have previously thrown under their beds. If they are peeled, it is a sign of poverty, partially peeled it announces ups and downs, and if the skin is intact it is a good omen of abundance and wealth for the coming year. The next day, the chilotes have to throw their shoes out the door. If, on falling down, they are pointed outwards, the owner will have to make a trip and leave the house. On the contrary, if the shoes fall back with the tip inwards, he will stay at home for the whole year.

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