Republic of Chile
República de Chile
CAPITAL : Santiago
FLAG : The flag, adopted in 1817, consists of a lower half of red and an upper section of white, with a blue square in the upper left corner containing a five-pointed white star.
ANTHEM : Canción Nacional (National Song) beginning "Dulce Patria, recibe los votos."
MONETARY UNIT : The peso ( P ) of 100 centavos replaced the escudo as the nation's monetary unit in October 1975. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 pesos, and notes of 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 pesos. P 1 = US $0.00141 (or US $1 = P 708) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but local measures also are used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Navy Day (Battle of Iquique), 21 May; Assumption, 15 August; Independence Day, 18 September; Army Day, 19 September; Columbus Day, 12 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Immaculate Conception, 8 December; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
TIME : 8 AM = noon GMT.
Spanish is the national language. A sizable segment of Mapuche (Araucanian) Amerindians use Spanish in addition to their native tongue. The only other language of any importance is German, spoken mainly in the Valdivia region.
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