Santiago de Cuba Carnival

in Santiago de Cuba
  • Santiago de Cuba Carnival in Santiago de Cuba - Cuba
Location :
Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province
While Havana is still gearing up for its carnival, at the other end of the country, Santiago de Cuba’s street party will be in full swing. Although precise origins are unknown, carnival traditions here reach way back to the 17th century, when there was an annual procession for the feast day of Santiago, the city’s patron saint. Like much here, the Carnaval has evolved as a potent and shifting mix of African, French and Spanish influences and traditions. The Santiago de Cuba Carnaval, which takes place in the third week of July, now celebrates a whole host of additional saints, and is the main cultural event for Cuba’s second biggest city, with many participants taking the whole year to prepare routines and costumes. Whether you feel inspired to move to the rhythms or not, you’ll find it hard to resist the energy of this vibrant, festive whirl, considered the most colorful in Cuba. Here are a few carnival terms to master before you go: • comparsas - local dance/music groups with choreographed routines, and elaborate floats and costumes • congas – more spontaneous, informal groups led by percussionists and someone playing a cornet-type instrument and dancers, plus the half walking, half dancing step they use to move forward
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