There´re a lot of typical celebrations all over the world. We all celebrate New Year´s Eve, Christmas, Birthdays because it´s in the human nature to make a big deal of those important dates. In Cuba, we do know how to celebrate.
The Cuban folk is, first of all, fest, homely, friendly and warm. As we used to saying “gozador”.
There´s not Cuban party without music, and to make it worth the music has to be loud, it doesn´t matter if you have to establish a conversation with somebody else. In a Cuban party you´ll probably lose your voice. On the other hand, family and friends are the pillars of Cuban celebrations, also it´s the beer, the “Ron”, the food.
Do you want to know more about how we do it in our way? Fallow me through this journey then. Aloud me to present four important moments in the year we can´t miss:
It´s all about family and some really close friends. Dinner is the most important part of that night and definitely there´s no Christmas spirit without a huge leg of pork, as we call it ( la pata de Puerco del 24 ) . It´s tradition either buying the piece of leg or killing the animal, but always the roasting gets done by carbon or in the oven and this activity starts very early in the morning. Of course the beer is always there during the cooking, you´ll never see our fathers or mothers cooking with empty hands; it doesn´t matter if they don´t drink at all, Christmas Eve is a perfect day to give it a try. We aren´t used to giving any present and we don´t mention Santa.
The celebration intended to leave behind the worst problems of the year and it welcomes the god times, the new opportunities, “y que venga lo bueno”. When the clock strikes midnight a lot of families go out and throw buckets of water to the streets in order to remove the bad influences. Also you could see out on the streets dolls made by old stuff, and also when the clock reach midnight the dolls get burned under the same meaning of leaving behind the bad things that happened last year. Well, a Cuban family would visit their neighbors and they´d hug each other’s, it´s a very nice tradition which makes us better human beings. That night dinner consists on: brown rice (congrí), roasted pork, yucca and “tostones”. At midnight we make a toast with cider or champagne and we eat twelve grapes.
It´s not only a celebration for the person who´s getting older. As you´ll realize Cuba is a spirit of companion, so on birthday we receive family, friends and their relatives into our home (sometimes we rent a place which it´s conditioned to this kind of parties). This Cuban celebration includes dancing and singing, piñatas and clowns for children. There´s the classic Happy Birthday´s moment that can be sang in Spanish, in English, even in French or Russian (most of the time as a joke) because we are a country full of outsider cultures.
This is a beautiful spectacle, profoundly designed for family and friends. The bride must to arrive, usually by Cadillac with her white dress and it’s a tradition to get married at the Palace of Marriages. The civil ceremony it´s fallowed by a huge party and honeymoon takes a week. The gifts vary from articles to money and of course you won´t miss the famous wedding cake, there´s a saying that the higher the cake, the more years together.