Festivals and Events
Whether it's celebrating Afro-Caribbean culture or bringing together the best of Latin-American film and music, Cuba has an impressive schedule of festivals, carnivals and events throughout the year. Here's our pick of the best.
Festival del Habano (Cuban Cigar Festival)
Attracting cigar aficionados from all over the world, this commercialized festival promotes Cuban cigars with factory and tobacco plantation visits, a trade fair, seminars and workshops, and various tasting opportunities.
Havana International Guitar Festival
This biennial event sees some of the guitarists from around the world gather in the capital to play a variety of genres to crowds of passionate music fans. Held in venues across the city, the festival concludes with a large gala concert.
Bienal de La Habana
One of Latin America's premier art events, every three years the work of artists from all over the continent, the Caribbean, Africa and Middle East is displayed in galleries and museums across Havana. Each show has a different theme with artists working in a variety of mediums.
International Workers’ Day
Events take place around the world on May 1st but in Cuban it's a chance to celebrate national pride with parades through the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana where thousands of people attend to wave banners and listen to the president's annual speech.
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This week-long carnival in the provincial town of Camaguey is one of the oldest festivals in Cuba with congas and floats filling the streets and performers dressed in frilled costumes. An exuberant atmosphere is enhanced with disco lights, the beat of drums and clap cymbals.
Fiesta del Caribe
Taking place in the city of Santiago de Cuba early July each year, this vibrant festival celebrates Caribbean culture with lively music and dance performances, Afro-Cuban religious processions, and colourful parades. Free outdoor and indoor concerts are held in various venues across the city. A week or so later the Carnaval de Santiago de Cuba takes place with even more parades, salsa bands and late-night parties.
Festival de Matamoros Son
Held in Santiago de Cuba in the second half of October this festival is the best chance to experience traditional forms of Cuban music with musicians from across the country performing in concerts across the city alongside dance performances and workshops.
Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano
One of Latin America's premier film festival this ten-day festival celebrates the latest and best Cuban, Latin American and Western films with screenings held in a number of cinemas across Havana. Feature films, short films, documentaries and animation are all on offer.
Havana International Jazz Festival
Jazz musicians and fans from across the globe come to Havana in December to share the stage and watch Cuba's best jazz talents with late night jams and parties adding to the appeal.
Parrandas de Remedios
This exuberant carnival-esque event takes place on Christmas Eve in the city of Remedios with an all-night celebration. Colourful floats make their way through the streets with firework displays and dancing competitions.