Cuban Holidays

It’s crazy to me to think that we are already at the last blog of the class, this semester has really flown by! As the semester quickly comes to a close, we approach summer, the perfect time to go on holiday! Because of this, I thought it would be an appropriate topic choice for this last blog to discuss Cuban holidays! As with any country or culture, the New Year is a big celebration. For Cuba, this is also the eve of the revolution, and cause for partying that lasts far into the night. January 1st and 2nd mark Triumph of the Revolution and Victory Day. These are important to Cuba’s history and mark the significance of the revolution, which also means more cause for party. Sounds like Cubans start every year with a bang! The next notable holiday takes place January 28th, celebrating the birthday of Jose Marti, who was the unofficial national poet of Cuba and father of the revolution. Moving into February, Cuba has the cigar festival, which sounds like it’d be another fun time to hang out in Cuba. In the Spring, Cubans celebrate carnival in April, but are not huge on celebrating Easter, although they have Good Friday as an official holiday. April also holds many art festivals. May contains Labor Day, and the last week of July holds the Carnaval in Santiago de Cuba commemorating St. James. The end of July also holds National Revolution Day on July 26th. On this day in 1953, Castro stormed the Moncada Barracks, and while his attack failed, it marked the first major step in the revolution and therefore marks July 26th as the day to celebrate. September 8th is Virgen de Cobre Feast Day, and Cubans celebrate by leaving gifts at her shrine. In October, there is the Anniversary of Che Guevera’s death on the 8th and the Memorial Day of Camilio Cienfuegos on the 28th. Finally making it to December, the holidays of this month include Armed Forces Day on the 2nd, Memorial Day for Antonio Maceo on the 7th, and Christmas on the 25th, although this last one is similar to Easter in that it is, again, not super popular among Cubans. While Cuba may not celebrate some of our biggest holidays, they still have many of their own that are reason to party. Too bad none of them fall during the time we will be there!

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