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What is the We Tripantu?

It coincides with the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, and is the most important celebration for the Mapuche tribe. It is similar to a new year, but with a much more profound meaning, as the bond with nature is an essential part of this culture’s cosmovision. To them, this day marks the “beginning of the return” of the sun.
July 17, 2021

Diego Salas
Photo: Araucania Andina

Photo: Araucania Andina travel

Each year, the Mapuche people celebrate We Tripantu, an important ancient tradition which, between June 21 and 24, marks a new beginning – a change of cycle propelled by nature’s constantly renewing energy.  This date coincides with the winter solstice, an astronomical phenomenon interpreted by this ancestral culture as the “rebirth of life”.

To be exact, this event occurs when our planet reaches its maximum distance from the sun.  This is the longest night of the year and the days that follow are also longer.

At the start of the We Tripantu, the sun “begins to return” and nature experiences multiple changes: the rains arrive which will bring new sprouts, the rivers renew their waters, the birds rise early, the animals shed their coats.  All of the Earth’s energies are renewed.

According to the Mapuche cosmovision, humans are thoroughly connected with nature, which means all of this transformative energy also affects people and communities.  The sun, moon, rain, ocean and wind are elements that must always remain in balance so that we can live in good health and harmony.

We Tripantu’s importance for agriculture

Sandra Naiman, Chiloe

The winter solstice is a transcendental moment for crops. Much of the worshipping that occurs during the We Tripantu celebrations are dedicated to good and abundant harvests.  Our dear friend Sandra Naiman, a huilliche woman – the southern branch of the Mapuche people – uses ancient agricultural methods on her farm.  She explains that during this period “we can begin to sow crops, the seeds germinate and begin a new life”.

We Tripantu is an important celebration for us and the whole community participates,” Sandra tells us.  “On this day we get together very early, around six in the morning, to bathe in the river, because according to our beliefs, this water is purified to receive new energy.”  The night before, Sandra explains, the community participates in a series of traditional Mapuche activities, where typical foods, dances, and prayers are shared, and the elderly tell stories to the younger generations.

Among the diverse activities and excursions the hotel Tierra Chiloe offers, is the opportunity to meet Sandra and her ecological farm, which she runs and works with her own hands, using her ancestors’ techniques in complete harmony with the nature that surrounds her.  Her story allows visitors to better understand the rural lifestyle of the people of Chiloe, an archipelago in the south of Chile that is full of culture, myths and legends, which also boasts a rich biodiversity and incredible landscapes.

Would you like to discover this island, its lush scenery and its traditions?  Contact us to start planning an unforgettable experience with the support of our expert Guest Experience team.



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