AMERICA/CHILE - Wüñol Tripantu, the Mapuche celebration of the rebirth of life

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - On June 27, the religious holiday of the Mapuche community called "Wüñol Tripantu" is celebrated. Across the country celebrations are held from June 24 to 26 that still today involve many Chileans belonging to the Mapuche indigenous community. The pastoral Mapuche of Santiago sent a note to Fides that highlights the importance of this tradition that has been handed down for generations. Wüñol Tripantu is in fact a celebration of nature, family and community, celebrating the renewal of life, earth, animals. It is a celebration thousands of years old which is preserved in the Mapuche memory, although it was replaced by the feast of St. John the Baptist at the time of colonization and evangelization.
In the Mapuche culture it is said that the earth rests in autumn and is purified with the winter rains. After the rains, the sun makes the first buds appear, the first flowers, animals are born, then spring comes, and the earth continues its natural cycle in the summer. The note sent to Fides explains that the name of the feast, Wüñol Tripantu, "must be translated as the return of year, the return of a cycle, it is a cyclical connotation, since time in the indigenous culture is cyclical".
The Catholic Church has long been involved with the Mapuche community, for the defense of their rights (Fides 07/01/2014), child assistance (Fides 29/05/2013), the recognition of Mapuche identity and their lands (Fides 21/05/2013). This year, even the Catholic Church is one of the organizers of the feast in Santiago. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 26/06/2014)