Cuba is a country that does not have many public holidays – in total they have 6. However, their main festival – Carnival – also coincides with the times when the schools are on summer holiday in Cuba [from June to late August]. So, this is the main holiday time, and a time when all Cuba parties away.
No one is exactly sure how Carnival in Cuba started, but it is generally accepted that it was first done in Santiago de Cuba – that important Cuban city that is responsible for so many of Cuba’s modern traditions. It is also generally accept that the slaves where the first to introduce Carnival in Cuba and Latin America in order to ward off some bad spirits. These days Festival is a three day event in Havana, but different parts of Cubas celebrate the Carnival at different times of the year. It is, therefore, possible to spend two months celebrating the same occasion! And because Cuban’s love music and partying, Carnival time is a very important date in every Cubans calendar.
Aside from Carnival, and not including public holidays, Cuba celebrates a number of lesser festivals – all of which serve some purpose or other and all of which encourage Cubans to have a good time at an expensive price. Other more famous festivals though include Christmas day, which wasn’t a holiday in Cuba until Pope John Paul the Second visited the island in 1997. Now you really do have to buy someone a gift you stay here during this time!
A final important festival in the Cuban calendar is 1 January. However, unlike elsewhere, where this may be considered as New Year, in Cuba 1 January is considered Liberation Day – or the day on which Fidel Castro overthrew the old corrupt Cuban regime. As this day is also a public holiday another countries, doesn’t mean Cuban can’t have one as well – only on completely different grounds.