Religious festivities in Chile are frequent and fascinating events, with ritual processions and dances that demonstrate the synthesis of numerous traditions - popular and religious, Andean and Catholic - over the course of over four centuries.
The majority of these festivities are derived from the concept of patron saints. Catholic tradition assigns each day of the year its own patron saint, and each Catholic church is dedicated to one of these saints. Each church annually celebrates its saint's day, though forms of celebration vary by region and by church. In many parts of the country, Catholic traditions have been so thoroughly mixed with native traditions and popular manifestations that it is difficult to devise where one tradition leaves off and the other begins.
Semana Santa (Holy Week), which culminates on Easter Sunday, is celebrated throughout Chile.
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