Traditional activities strengthen the community spirit of the Mapuche population, the friendship among their families and their communion with the other dwellers of the region.
Ever since its beginnings, the Mapuche people have developed a thorough knowledge of astrology and astronomy. This has enabled them the chance to have a complete notion of the changes in the position of the sun and other stars and, in consequence, the variations produced in nature and human beings. This comprehension made them grasp the language of the Earth, its evolutionary stages and the beginning and end of each year accurately.
June 21 is the shortest day and the longest night in the year for those who live in the southern hemisphere. It is also the beginning of winter. The corresponding solstice points the largest distance between the Earth and the Sun.
For the Mapuches, this coincides with the end of the harvest and the beginning of the sowing period. According to their cyclic vision of the cosmos, the sun is the precursor of life. Their beliefs establish that the sun is born when the winter starts, is young during the spring, a grown-up in the summer and old in the fall, when the trees shed their leaves and the animals change their fur.
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Recommendations: The most numerous native people in Argentinian-Chilean Patagonia is the Mapuches and members are distributed to both sides of the Andes.
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