Cuban Calendar 2016

Get inspired for your Cuba Holidays 2016 by the numerous festivals and events all around Cuba.

Click on appropriate month to see the listing

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JULY
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • NOV
  • DEC

Havana International Craft Fair

1st- 16th December 2016

Pabexpo

Held as a way of expressing the identity and cultural diversity of different countries, this fair has promoted arts and crafts attracting thousands of visitors each year. Lectures, exhibits, fashion shows, sales and the crafts themselves offer an opportunity for interaction and exchange between artists and the public. In its 11 previous editions, the original treatment of contemporary design in handicrafts has been remarkable, in pieces which, without losing their ancestral nature, exhibit an undisputable touch of modernity, whether applied to textiles, fibres, leather, precious and semiprecious stones, metals, clay, or any other material ready to be fashioned and beautified through the sensitivity of craft artists.

Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (New Latin American International Film Festival)

8th – 18th December 2016

Havana movie theatres and other venues in several other provinces

Since 3 December 1979, Havana has been the venue for the immensely popular New Latin American International Film Festival. Millions of film buffs across Cuba attend the event which has served as a launch pad for Latin American cinematography and become one of the leading film festivals of the region. The variety and creativity of films shown at the Havana Film Festival every year has attracted celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Pedro Almodóvar, Francis Ford Coppola, Carlos Saura, Oliver Stone, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Robert de Niro, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, and Danny Glover, among many others.

Festival Internacional Jazz Plaza (International Jazz Festival)

Teatro Amadeo Roldán and other locations in Havana

11th- 19th December 2016

One of Havana´s most famous music events, the Jazz Festival is a display of the link between Cuban rhythm and jazz, which goes back to the late 19th century when newly freed slaves emigrated to New Orleans. Started in 1979 pretty much as a local event at the Casa de la Cultura de Plaza, the festival has grown in size and scope with venues that include several large theatres and nightclubs. International stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Steve Coleman, Michel Legrand, Ivan Lins and Ronnie Scott are just a few names in the list of past participants, who, together with Cubans Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Bobby Carcassés and Ernán López-Nussa, to mention just a few, attract fans from all over the world.

La Habana province Charangas de Bejucal

Bejucal

Dec 24, 25, 26, 2015 & Jan 1st, 2016

Like many other festivals of this type in Cuba, the charangas (popular son-influenced Cuban music that began in the 1940s emphasizing flute, violin and piano orchestra) are related to Christmas celebrations, when white Catholics and black slaves would take to the streets with their musical instruments to pay tribute to their deities. Eventually, they divided into two groups: La Musicanga, which gathered the criollos (freed blacks and slaves); and Los Malayos (representing the Spaniards). Thanks to the fusion of cultures that characterizes Cuban identity, racial and class differences were lost with time, and belonging to one or another side was simply determined by each person´s preference. Rivalry between both sides today – now named La Ceiba de Plata and La Espina de Oro — consists in the ability to construct the most colourful and striking floats. The traditional music of the orchestra Los Tambores de Bejucal accompanies this festivity now attended not only by the inhabitants of the town, 20 km south of Havana, but by hundreds of visitors who enjoy the fantasy and creativity of designers, engineers, painters, musicians, choreographers, and dancers whose talent guarantees the vitality of one of the oldest popular celebrations in Cuba.

Parrandas de Remedios

Remedios, Villa Clara province

December 24 2016

Legend has it that during the 1820s, a young priest officiating in Remedios—the eighth town founded by the Spaniards in Cuba—decided to have a group of children make a noise with whatever they had to hand in an effort to awaken lazy parishioners to attend mass in the chilly mornings of 24th December. From then on, neighbours would go out into the streets on the nights prior to Christmas for music and merrymaking. From 1871, a competition or parranda between two neighbourhoods—El Carmen and San Salvador—took place, each with its own hymn, colours, kites and lanterns. In 1875, complicated floats lit by flares and fireworks were paraded by each side at the town´s Plaza de Armas (town square). To this day, the two neighbourhoods continue with a rivalry characterized by the beauty and originality of these floats, as well as by the amazing pyrotechnics that from 9 pm on 24th December to dawn on 25th December illuminate the city sky. Both sides keep their floats secret from each other during the course of the year with even members of the same family on either side of the fence sworn to secrecy against each other. Although these festivities have spread to other nearby localities of Guayos and Camajuaní, the Parrandas de Remedios are the oldest and most well known on the island

Our recommendation:

  • April 2016: Cuidad en Movimiento in Havana. You can combine it with our Dance holiday in Cuba
  • May 2016: 1th Bienal de La Habana – If you are a photographer, it will be a great opportunity to take amazing photos during this festival. See our Photography Cuba holidays 2014
  • July 2016: Fiesta de Fuego in Santiago de Cuba
  • October 2016: Festival de Teatro de La Habana (Havana Theatre Festival)
  • December 2016: International Jazz Festival

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