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    Best Cuban Festivals

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    Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

    There is no country in the world that celebrates its culture and religion like the Cubans do. There is literally a festival of every genre be it religious, tribal, musical or culinary. Cuban festivals give you a chance to experience the sun, beaches, music and dance depending on the time of the year that you visit the country. In fact, it will be a difficult task for you to choose which of these festivals you want to attend because of their sheer number.

    However, you need to be aware of the various propaganda festivals that depict the rise of Castro in cuba. You can generally distinguish them from other festivals by the nature of these festivals. In case, you find it difficult to choose which festivals you want to attend, then worry not, as we have listed the various Cuban festivals worth celebrating.

    Top 10 Cuban Festivals

    A comprehensive list along with detailed information about the various Cuban festivals is given below:

    1. Festival De La Trova Longina
    2. Havana Biennial
    3. Camaguey Carnival
    4. Havana Jazz Festival
    5. Santiago De Cuba Carnival
    6. Havana World Music Festival
    7. Trinidad Festival
    8. Havana Carnival
    9. Parrandas De Remedios
    10. Havana Ballet Festival

    1. Festival De La Trova Longina

    Festival De La Trova Longina

    The image is for representation purposes only.

    The Festival de la Trova is a popular festival of music that takes place in Santa Clara. A very popular local musician by the name of Manuel Corona had a song called Trova and that is where this festival has derived its name from. The main event of the festival other than the music is a walk from the Santa Clara city centre to the birthplace of the singer.

    Trova is a distinct genre within the various musical genres of Cuba. This music style is very popular in the area and enjoyed around the world with great fervour and remembrance.

    When: January
    Where: Santa Clara

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    2. Havana Biennial

    Havana Biennial

    The Havana Biennial Festival is very popular and one of the most influential art festivals in Cuba and around the Americas. Many artists, both vintage and contemporary, from around the world take part in this prestigious event. A true art lover will be attracted towards the sheer magnificence and character of this art festival. All the exhibition houses and museums showcase the art pieces by the various artists from around the world.

    The streets are also lined up with makeshift booths for these exhibitions. Even if you don’t have knowledge of the festival, you would still run into these mini art exhibitions. During this time the streets and walls of Havana serve as canvases for local artists, who display some of the best colours and cultures in their artwork.

    When: April/May
    Where: Havana

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    3. Camaguey Carnival

    Camaguey Carnival

    The Camaguey carnival is one of many cuban carnivals and always takes place on San Juan day. The early 1700s set the stage for the inception of this carnival. As a result, this festival is steeped in cultural legacy and heritage. This is one of the oldest events of its kind and can serve as a good teacher for a tourist to know about the local culture.

    The festival is celebrated with enthusiasm and energy. Here you will witness decorated floats, musicians wearing shimmering outfits dancing to the tunes of Conga. The end of the carnival is marked by the burning of the St Peter’s statue.

    When: June
    Where: Camaguey

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    4. Havana Jazz Festival

    Havana Jazz Festival

    Jazz has a dedicated fan following. To celebrate the sounds of Jazz, each year the Havana Jazz Festival is held. Local as well as international Jazz maestros come to perform and enthrall the audiences with their grasp on the genre. The Cuban people are especially fond of Jazz music. As a result, there are a number of Jazz artists that grace the stage with their talent.

    When: January
    Where: Havana

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    5. Santiago De Cuba Carnival

    Santiago De Cuba Carnival

    The sheer colours and vibrancy on show in the parades of the Santiago de Cuba carnival is breathtaking. This carnival is considered to be the largest and most famous carnival in Cuba. The hot weather of July does not hamper the energy and fervour with which the dancers and musicians perform in this festival. Locals as well as visitors to Cuba take part in the festivities to enjoy the culture, food and music. Visit this Cuban festival for a truly intense experience.

    When: July
    Where: Santiago De Cuba

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    6. Havana World Music Festival

    Music Festival

    The image is for representation purposes only.

    A mixture of traditional and contemporary music can be heard at the Havana World Music Festival. There are different concerts to pay homage to the various kinds of local music. Some international music starlets are specially flown in to perform at this festival. For the more musically inclined, local musicians open up booths to instruct people about their style of music. All in all the food and music make for a great experience at this fes

    When: March
    Where: Havana

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    7. Trinidad Festival

    Trinidad Festival

    The erstwhile colonial city of Trinidad hosts this beautiful festival each year for people to come and enjoy to their heart’s content. The manic atmosphere is created by various parades, beautiful floats, costumes and food. Various game shows are also held for people to enjoy. Other competitions include a dance competition, horse riding and musica competition.

    When: June
    Where: Trinidad

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    8. Havana Carnival

    Havana Carnival

    The Havana Carnival is an out and out thriller of an experience. Here people descend on the streets to enjoy music, dance, food and a good drink. The parades showcase various floats and costumed groups. The groups dance to the tunes of competing contemporary and traditional music. People can jump in and out of the procession or just observe from the balconies of their hotels. We recommend you get out there and get sweaty dancing to the Conga rhythm.

    When: August
    Where: Havana

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    9. Parrandas De Remedios

    Parrandas De Remedios

    The small and remote town of Remedios is host to a traditional Christmas festival. This festival is known as the Parrandas de Remedios. These festivities are part of one of the oldest Cuban traditions. But, don’t be fooled by the age of it as the festivities are what you consider to be young and wild. Here you get to witness fireworks, percussive music, dance, food and culture.

    When: December
    Where: Remedios

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    10. Havana Ballet Festival

    Havana Ballet Festival

    The image is for representation purposes only.

    Internationally acclaimed artform of Ballet is a very traditional Cuban artform. The Havana Ballet Festival is known around the world to be the best destination for a ballet festival. In fact, there is no other festival in this world which matches this event either in magnitude or purity in artform. Held biennially, this ballet festival is known to host many national and international ballerinas.

    Along with ballet, contemporary art and music also form a very important part of this festival. In case you are inclined towards ballet and want to witness the best of it, then the Havana Ballet Festival is the place for you to be.

    When: October/November
    Where: Havana

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    Cuban festivals are known for their food, music, dance and parties. We hope this list helps you to choose the perfect festival for you to enjoy during your next visit to Cuba. We recommend you to avoid the government sponsored events as they are more to do with political propaganda and less to do with real Cubano culture. So, go out there, taste some amazing food, dance to the music notes and party till you drop.

    Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Cuban Festivals

    Q. What are some important festivals in Cuba?

    A. Here are a few special events and festivals in Cuba: Festival de la Trova Longina, Havana Jazz Festival, Festival del Habano, Memorial Guillermo Barreto, Santiago Álvarez Memorial International, International Electroacoustic and International Pepe Sanchez.

    Q. What are some traditions only Cubans understand?

    A. Here are some interesting traditions only Cuba follows:
    – Christmas is celebrated without gifts
    – Girls are generally called ‘gordita’
    – A bride’s dress is pinned with money to help her bear the honeymoon costs
    – A human-shaped doll is burned on New Year to mark the death of bad omens of the past year

    Q. What is the cigar festival known as in Cuba?

    A. El Festival del Habano, as is known as the Cuban Cigar festival to honor the world’s most aromatic tobacco, as discovered by Christopher Columbus in the year 1492.

    Q. Why is Carnival celebrated in July in Cuba?

    A. The Carnival is celebrated annually between July 18–27 to honor the Revolution, with the final complete Carnival parade held on the 26th of July.

    Q. What is Cuba popular for?

    A. Apart from the reign of Fidel Castro and delicious Cuban food, Cuba is popular for its music. Live salsa music is very common in the bars and clubs while the dance forms rumba and bolero are two popular dance forms.

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