- Numerous festivals and celebrations throughout the year
- Colourful Carnival in July
- Havana International Book Fair
- Cycling event "Vuela a Cuba"
Havana is certainly no ordinary place. Its unique and bizarre blend of cultures, rhythms, religions and the contrasts of old and new, and communist dreams mixed with influences of today’s modern world make for an unforgettable experience. Add to this the bubbly and exciting atmosphere the city exudes and the events calendar crammed with festivals, celebrations and special dates and you have… La Habana!
It will be a challenge to find a place as culturally versatile and rich as this city. Some of the most common and popular events feature the arts, ranging from cinema, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance festivals to folk music, classical music and all sorts of other music festivals. Literary events, sporting activities and the impossible-to-miss carnival also have their place on the city’s events calendar.
Carnival - Generally each neighborhood organizes their performing group or “comparsa”, which rehearses for months before the big event to take part in the parade and dance show. This is an important time to show off skill and talent as well as to have a lot of fun, with colorful costumes, energetic dances and lively music. Along with the parades, during Carnival outdoor street fairs are set up and there are also outdoor concerts by the Malecón, the city’s boardwalk, featuring Cuba’s best bands.
Carnival used to be held during the month of February but since 1998 it was moved to July.
The Havana International Book Fair - usually held early on in the year at El Morro in modern, newly built convention buildings, this Fair is where all kinds of books are launched, displayed and sold. Premio Casa de las Américas – also a literary event, this gathering of Latin American literary greats began in the decade of the 60’s, to give out annual awards to outstanding writers of Latin American origin. Prominent authors that have attended this awards ceremony, either as a guest of honor or as a part of the juries include Mario Benedetti and García Marquez, to name just a few.
Festival Internacional de Música de Benny Moré – a famous and legendary Cuban musician, Moré has been an inspiring figure in the music industry and really played a big part in getting Cuban music out to the rest of the world. This festival includes performances by some of Cuba’s best bolero singers. This festival usually takes place in September.
Tecnotur Trade Fair – This is a tourist industry trade fair which focuses on how to improve infrastructure in order to promote and encourage tourism. With the country’s growing tourist industry, this Fair provides important insight into how the industry can improve and keep up with the times. Infrastructure includes everything from hotels and other accommodation, entertainment, cuisine, and decoration. It usually takes place during June.
The Cigar Festival – this is one of the newer festivals to be held here in Havana and is a great event for those interested in the art of Cuba’s exquisite Habanos. Not only does it include a detailed history of the cigar, but there are opportunities to visit tobacco plantations and cigar factories to learn all about the production process
Vuelta a Cuba – already a popular sporting event, even though it hasn’t been around for all that long is this cycling tournament in which both local and international competitors take part. Starting out in Havana, this tour covers most of the island, passing through most of Cuba’s provinces.
For further information on festivals, events and celebrations held in Cuba, click here.
Don't miss out on these one-of-a-kind events that take place on this unique island. You'll be able to enjoy them while taking a Spanish Language Course here in Havana.