Two lively and contrasting cultural strains predominate Chile: the cosmopolitan culture of the affluent urban population, and the popular, more traditional culture of the peasants, which is predominantly Spanish but also contains traces of Araucanian heritage. The latter influences are strongest in Chilean music and dance. Chile also has an extremely rich literary tradition and has produced two Nobel Prize winners in literature, poets Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda.
Language and a common history have promoted cultural homogeneity in the country. Even the Araucanians and certain Aymara minorities in the north share the values of the Chilean identity while continuing to cherish their own cultural heritage.
Chileans have always displayed a high degree of tolerance toward the customs and traditions of minority groups, as well as toward Christian and non-Christian religious practices.
The flavor of local custom and tradition in Chile is readily observable in the numerous colorful religious festivals that take place at various localities throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are drawn to these processions.