- Honoring of local patron saints or the Madonna
- Jazz and cinema festivals in Havana
- Easter Week and Epiphany
- Colorful Carnival celebration in July
With its colorful history and diverse cultural background, Cuba has a very interesting selection of events and festivities throughout the year.
In actual fact, one could say that the year in this island is crammed with festivals. Most of them are cultural, featuring film, music and dance above all. Some of the most popular events are the jazz and cinema festivals, usually held in Cuba’s capital. Other wonderful events along these same lines include dance festivals, ranging from ballet and contemporary dance to traditional folk dancing.
Although the jazz festivals are some the most popular music events there are all sorts of other music events to enjoy, going from classical to folk music.
Religious holidays in Cuba used to be banned by the government and people would celebrate quietly at home. Things changed in 1998 however, when Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in January 1998. Fidel Castro decided to make Christmas Day (abolished in the 60’s) an official holiday. Other important religious times throughout the year in Cuba include the Epiphany (January) and Easter Week.
Also, you will find that depending on the region, there are certain days honoring patron saints or the Madonna that are celebrated by the locals. Ceremonies and festivals linked to the Santería religion are also held in some Cuban cities and towns.
Cuba’s public holidays generally commemorate political and historical events, such as the War of Independence and the Revolution. On these days shops, offices and factories close for the day and people usually convene in the Plaza de la Revolución, although such parades and rallies are a thing of the past. Nowadays, large rallies aren’t as common anymore.
Carnival is another important part of Cuba’s events calendar although it is not held at the pre-Lenten time anymore, as it traditionally used to be, but rather in July.
Take a look at the calendar with Cuba’s most important dates.