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(In Cuba) | Festival Days |



During this season there is an escalation of dance and theatre performances. The beaches are crowded, but mainly with visitors – the Cubans


Festival de Monólogos y Unipersonales. A competition for actors, authors, directors, dancers and coreographers from all over Cuba. It also features monologues by foreign performers.

Taller Internacional de Teatro de Títeres. Teatro Papalote, Matanzas (Mar-Apr). Perfomances by leading puppet theatres, with seminars, conferences and workshops.


La huella de España. Gran Teatro de la Habana and Castillo Real de la Fuerza, Havana (Apr). A festival of Cuban culture of Spanish derivation : concerts, classical dance, flamenco and theatre.

Festival Internacional de Percusión. Havana (Apr). Concerts, courses, conferences, lectures and documentary film screenings, all resolving around Cuban percussion instruments.

Bienal del Humor de San Antonio de los Baños. Museo del Humor, San Antonio de los Baños, Hav Prov. (1-15 April). Festival of Humour, with exhibits, lectures and performances.

Festival de Arte Danzario. Havana and Camagüey (April-May). Festival featuring all types of dance, from traditional to contemporary. Also includes lectures, seminars, educational activities and workshops held by Cuban and visiting international dancers and scholars.

Los Dias de la Danza (April-May) Festival featuring Cuban dance groups. On 29 April, International Dance day, the Premio Nacional de la Danza, a national prize, is awarded in Teatro Mella, Havana.


Primero de Mayo. Havana (May 1), Rallies, marches and parades are held in every city in the country. The most important one takes places, of course, in Havana : the citizens gather in Plaza de la Revolución for speeches and patriotic songs.

Feria Internacional del Disco CubaDisco (International Record Fair), PABEXPO, Havana (mid-May). Records on display and for sale; conferences and concerts.

Fiesta Nacional de la Danza. Santa Clara (Apr-May) The best local dancers perform in the rowns of this province. The fiesta ends with a great celebration in Santa Clara.




There are various festival an festivities during the summer months, especially in Havana and Santiago. Almost evening there are open-air concerts along the Malecón in Havana, particularly in the square know as the Piragua, which is transformed into a open-air dance floor (free of charge). If you plan to include the Carnival in your visit, book accommodation well in advance in both cities.


Festival Boleros de Oro. Santiago, Morón, Havana (mid-Jun). String of concerts by the best Cuban and internacional performers of bolero songs, lectures.

Encuentro de Bandas de Concierto. Plaza de la Revolución, Bayazo (Jun 1-15). Outdoors concerts by national and international bands. Lectures and workshops.

Fiesta del Gallo. Morón (end of Jun). Parade through town base don theme of the cockerel, symbolic here.

Jornada Cucalambeana. Encuentro Festival Iberoamericano de la Décima. Las Tunas (end of Jun, biennial). The most important festival of Cuban rural culture. Concerts and performances by poets, musicians and repentistas (improvisers). Lectures and literary meetings, exhibits of local handicrafts, theatre.

Havana Carnival (Jun-Jul). A parade of floats in the city streets, going to Hotel Nacional to Calle Belascoain, and live music performances by comparsas (Processional groups who prepare all year long) in various part of the city. At weekends, free concerts are held at the Piragua. The parade con bi viewed from a grandstand.


Fiesta del Títere. Havana (first week of jul). Puppet shows in different parts of the old town.

Fiesta del Fuego. Santiago de Cuba (first half of Jul). Annual festival celebrating the music, poetry, figurative art, religions and history of the Caribbean nations. Meetings, shows, exhibits, round tables, concerts, poetry readings and festivities throughout the city.

Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Camagüey. Camagüey (jul). A major contemporary music festival with concerts,. Seminars and round table discussions on Cuban and foreign composers.

Santiago Carnival. Santiago de Cuba (second half of Jul). Parade of floats along the city streets, live music perfomed by comparsas, and a show from the Tropicana in Santiago. For the most important parades there is a grandstand for spectators.

“26 de Julio” (held every year in a different city). The official commemoration of the attack on the Moncada barracks, with a speech by president Fidel Castro and other political leaders in the main square of a Cuban city, accompanied by children who recite poetry and by concerts.


Festival Internacional de Música Popular “Benny Moré”. Cienfuegos, Lajas and Havana (end of Aug. Biennial). Survey of Cuban Popular Music and its most important figures, with lectures and meetings centred around the figure of Benny Moré.




After the aust heat, when everything to do with work seems to slow down, life starts to pick up again. In autumn the schools reopen and works return to a normal rhythm. The number of tourist – Europeans in particular – decreased.


Fiesta de la Virgen del Cobre. El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba (8 Sep). On the feast-day of the Virgen there is a surge in the regular pilgrimage to this site from all parts of the island. The statue of the Virgen is borne in procession through the streets.

Festival de Teatro de la Habana. Havana (second half of Sep). This biennial theatre festival features a wide range of performances, including opera, dance, puppet, theatre, street shows, and pantomime. The theoretical aspects of theatre are also discussed, and experts from all over the world participate.

Matamoros Son. Santiago (Sep) A biennial festival given over to son.

Festival de Teatro de Camagüey. Camagüey (Sep-Oct). A national theatre competition. Dedicated to Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, with the added participation of foreign companies. As well as productions there are seminars, discussions, lectures and conferences.


Festival de Música Contemporánea. Havana (First half of Oct) Concerts with top conductors and soloist, world premieres, lectures and meetings with contemporary Cuban and foreign composers.

Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana. Holguín (second half of Oct). A festival given over the Spanish culture, with concerts, exhibitions, festivities and lectures.

Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana.  Teatro García Lorca, Havana (second half of Oct) . A wide-ranging survey of classical ballet, organized by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, headed by Alicia Alonso. Famous international artist take part as well.


Salón de Arte Cubano Contemporáneo. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana (biennial). An expo-competition of contemporary art Works, with prizes awarded at the end. Also conferences, lectures, round table discussions.

Festejos de San Cristobal de la Habana (Nov) Festivities and concerts to commemorate the foundation of Havana.

Festival Internacional de Coros. Sala Dolores, Teatro Heredia, Santiago de Cuba (biennial). Concerts by choral groups from all over the world.

Festival de Raíces africanas “Wemilere”. Guanabacoa (second half of Nov) A festival of Folk Events, with closing prize awarding ceremony.

Festival Cubadanzón. Teatro Sauto, Matanzas (second half of Nov) Perfomances by danzón orchestra and dancers, courses and conferences.




The most active season of the year from a cultural point view, with many top conferences and festival, the majority held in the capital. The events calendar in not generally disrupted by the holiday season, because although Christmas has been an official holiday since 1997, it is in fact little celebrated. New Year’s day is usually celebrated at home with the family or with close friends, rather than being the focus for public events.


Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. ICAIC, Havana (first half of Dec). This is the most important cinema festival and competition of the year, attracting famous international guest. The main cinemas in the capital present screening of the Latin American films in the competition, as well as retrospectives of Cuban and international filmmakers.

Fiesta a la Guantanamera (Guantánamo) (first half of Dec) Perfomances of, and lectures on, Afro-Cuban religion. Visits to the French cafetales (old coffee plantation) and the stone zoo.

Día de San Lázaro. Santiago de las Vegas, El Rincón (17 de Diciembre) The faithful and the sick come on pilgrimage to the church of Rincón, many comes from Havana on foot.

Parrandas de Remedios. Remedios (8-24 Dec). Cuba’s the most popular Fol. Festival begins with a children’s parade and ends with floats, fireworks and exuberance on Christmas Eve


Feria Internacional de Artesanías. PABEXPO, Havana (Jan-Feb). Handicrafts fair, Stands from different countries; meetings and lectures.


Feria Internacional del Libro. Fortaleza de la Cabaña (first half of Feb). Book fair featuring a different nation each year. New Cuban and foreign publishing initiatives presented and sold. Round tables, conferences, poetry readings, events and concerts.


To See Cuban Festival Days

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