Looking for an authentic insight into Cuban culture? Look no further than Romerias de Mayo festival. This eclectic arts and culture celebration takes place every May (usually 3rd-8th) in Holguín, a charming city set in the lush, beautiful and surprisingly little-visited East of the island.
Carnival season may be coming to a close across much of the world, but in Cuba the party hasn’t even begun.
In most Roman Catholic countries, Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival; a time of excess before 40 days of austerity. But in typical Cuban style, things on the island are a little different, with celebrations taking place throughout the summer in various towns and cities. Lucky for you, that leaves plenty of time to organise your Carnival trip.
With the motto leer es crecer (reading is growing), the 27th edition of Cuba’s International Book Fair opens this February. The Cuban publishing industry’s largest annual event transforms the usually-deserted La Cabaña fortress into a huge book market, selling new and old titles of all genres. Attracting publishing companies, book-lovers and curious tourists alike, the fair also includes book presentations, award ceremonies and musical concerts at night. Havana hosts the event for 10 days before it travels to other cities across the island, ending four months later and almost 500-miles away in Santiago de Cuba.
Whether you find yourself in drizzly London, bustling Barcelona or frenetic Hong Kong, you can’t help but sail away to a sunny Caribbean beach when you hear the mellow and rounded beat of bongos. Cuba is the land of percussion: life on the tropical island is soundtracked by the Afro-Cuban rhythms of rumba, Son, Timba, Guaguancó and everything in between. All these percussion-based musical genres meet at Fiesta del Tambor, a Havana festival and competition that showcases the work of both famous and debutant instrumentalists eager to show off their skills on the tambores (drums). If your feet (or at least your heart!) vibrate to the beat of batás, bongos, or drums, this is the event for you!
It's February and once again Havana is preparing for hundreds of cigar aficionados from all over the world to descend on the city, eager to enjoy fine hand-rolled Habanos (premium Cuban cigars) and share their passion for a culture deeply rooted in Cuba's identity as a nation. The Habanos Festival is one of the most important events in the island's calendar. Learn more about the event, Cuban cigars and their link to one of the United Kingdom's most famous sons, Winston Churchill.