Cueca is the name of the traditional Latin American courting dance renowned as the Chilean national dance. It is performed in pairs, where a man is associated with a rooster trying to entice his female partner, which correspondingly symbolizes a hen. The dancers are dressed in bright costumes: men traditionally wear colourful national costumes, typical for Chilean cowboys, whereas women wear bright, splendid dresses and aprons. The partners do not touch each other in cueca. Instead, they twirl white handkerchiefs overhead. Only at the very end of the dance, when the rooster manages to seduce his hen, he kneels on one knee, and she puts her foot on his risen knee. Though cuecas might be observed at any public holiday celebration, the best occasion is definitely "Cuecas Mil" held in San Bernardo on weekends in late April. The event is designed specifically to celebrate the dance. Though "mil" in Spanish means "thousand," the celebration actually features around 250 dancing pairs, but this is enough to enjoy the colourful tradition. Yon can also watch some cueca dancers during the public holidays, such as the Independence Day on September 18.
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