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Festivals & Holidays

Festivals and Holidays

Cuba certainly knows how to party, and the calendar is full of events to celebrate. Many of its most famous fiestas, like Santiago’s Carnaval and Havana’s International Ballet Festival, attract visitors from all around the world.

Historic Trinidad is renowned for its elaborate traditions surrounding Catholic holidays, such as the Way of the Cross procession at Easter and Fiestas Navidenas at Christmastime.

Experience Cuba’s festive spirit by planning your trip around one of the country’s legendary fiestas.


Water Festival

Water Festival

This festival commemorates the founding of the Villa of Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa, by Diego Velázquez de Cuellar on August 15, 1511. Held August 12-15.

El Reve Changüí Festival

El Reve Changüí Festival

This celebration of Baracoa's famous music brings together the most authentic changüí artists along with musical and dance performances of nengón, the kiribá, and the tumba francesa.



November 25 – 29

This event convenes the video art in all its genre variants: video performance, video installation (video sculpture and video environment), video dance and animation.

Venue: Historical Center of Camaguey City.
Website: www.videoartcamfestival.blogspot.com

Week of Cultural Celebrations

Week of Cultural Celebrations

This festival takes over Camagüey the first week of each February, and is widely recognized as one of Cuba’s best cultural fetes. It commemorates the city’s foundation.

Cayo Largo



In the evening, the Boulevar de Cayo Largo comes alive with joyful fiestas. One of the best, the Cayo Largo carnival, is celebrated along this bustling avenue.


Benny Moré International Music Festival

Come and celebrate the gifted Cuban singer during this festival that occurs every other September (in odd-numbered years).



During the first week of April, the locals observe the landing of Antonio Maceo at Duaba on April 1, 1895 along the Malecón.


Festival de la Trova Carlos Puebla (November)

Celebrate the famous Cuban boleros singer, guitarist and composer Carlos Puebla during this festival held from November 29 - December 2 in Manzanillo.

Encuentro de Bandas de Concierto (June)

This spirited Bayamo festival features performances by a variety of bands from June 8-11.

Festival del Libro en la Sierra (May)

Escape to this book festival in the mountains, held in Guisa from May 10-12.

Fiesta de la Cubanía

Celebrate Cuban culture during the festivities held each October 17-20.



December 8 – 18

As it is already well known, this fair offers our artisans and artists various spaces to promote and commercialize their products, as well as the opportunity for an exchange of experiences between the creators and the public. Expo selling, additional exhibitions, fashion shows, workshops and theoretical encounters on the development and market of visual arts and crafts will be some of the options brightening up the fair days.

Venue: PABEXPO. Havana City.
Website: www.fiart.cult.cu


December 15 – 18

The presence of the renowned maestro Jesús “Chucho” Valdés has created an important international tradition and repercussion for Latin Jazz or Cuban Jazz in which relevant figures and genre cultivators delight the audience with their virtuosity and talent. Live performances by musical bands, groups and solos will be featured. Also, colloquia and debates on this genre will be held.

Venue: Teatro Auditórium “Amadeo Roldán” and other facilities in Havana City.


November 2 - 6

Salon featuring audiovisual samples and printed works and a colloquium on the development of digital art.

Venue: Centro Cultural Pablo de la Torriente Brau


September 26 – 30

The TURNAT 2011 will take place in the Central Region of Cuba. This large area of the Cuban archipelago boasts important natural and cultural attractions, high aesthetic-landscape values and a rich biological diversity.

Among the main scenarios proposed for the TURNAT 2011 are: El Nicho, Cienfuegos, Hanabanilla Lake, Topes de Collantes, Valle de los Ingenios and Caguanes National Park.

Venue: Hotel Hanabanilla, Havana City
Website: www.turnatcuba.com


October 25 - 29

Inspired by José Martí’s thinking, the topic debated in this congress will be reading as a reflective and emotional act, a communication means encompassing the multifaceted relationships of the human being with the universe.

Venue: Hotel Habana Libre Tryp Sol Meliá.


October 28 - November 6

At the Havana Theater Festival all the different contemporary scene tendencies converge. The event will feature a selection of the most relevant in Cuban and international theatre, as well as workshops and seminars by prestigious specialists. A space is reserved for dialogue among artists, critics and audience.

Venue: Theaters and plazas in Havana City.


December 2 – 12

One of the most prestigious film festivals, it offers a wide panoramic on the audiovisual production in the continent. It shows the main international fiction and documentary films and includes a script and poster contest as well as seminars on cinematography, new technology and Latin films in the USA. It also features a space dedicated to the audiovisual world of the Latin American child.

Venue: Havana City and other cities in the country.
Website: http://www.habanafilmfestival.com


November 24 - 27

This contest, tailored for young Jazz players, encourages participants to tackle not only traditional Jazz styles, but also to search for their own creative style. Various prizes are conferred in this event, the most relevant is the recording of an album, produced by maestro Jesús “Chucho” Valdés.

Venue: Teatro Auditórium “Amadeo Roldán”, Havana City.

Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano

Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano

The Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano celebrates outstanding Latin American and Caribbean films.

International Youth Jazz Competition

International Youth Jazz Competition

Watch young musicians strut their stuff at this international jazz competition for singers and composers ages 16-30.

Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana

Celebrated dance companies from around the world come to Havana for the Festival Internacional de Ballet de la Habana.




See how Holguín does Carnaval during the third week of August. Expect lots of dancing in the streets and concerts al fresco.

Romerías de Mayo

Romerías de Mayo

Take in the music, poetry, paintings and many exhibitions during the weeklong art festival, which includes a pilgrimage to the top of the Loma de la Cruz, during the first week of May in Holguín. Don’t miss the national rap competition.

Jardines del Rey

Festejos Populares del Municipio de Morón

Festejos Populares del Municipio de Morón

First two weeks of June.

La Redonda

La Redonda

The trout and largemouth bass are plentiful in this 4-sq-km natural lake, the site of an international black bass fishing tournament every year.

Las Tunas

Anfora International Magic Festival (November)

Magicians from across Cuba -- and around the world -- flock to the city of Las Tunas each November for this magical celebration. Expect to see plenty of public magic shows, contests and theatrical events during Latin America’s only magic festival.

Jornada Cucalambeana (July)

See how Cuban vaqueros (cowboys) party at the country’s biggest celebration of rural culture, featuring a campesino music festival. This is held at the beginning of each July at the Motel El Cornito.

National Sculpture Exhibition (February)

For the entire month of February, the city of Las Tunas is teeming with workshops and conferences for artists, as well as an influx of additional sculptures on display throughout the sculpture-loving city.

Pinar del Río



Enjoy the floats and street parties during Carnaval each July.

Santa Lucia

Week of Cultural Celebrations

Week of Cultural Celebrations

This festival takes over Camagüey the first week of each February, and is widely recognized as one of Cuba’s best cultural fetes. It commemorates the city’s foundation.

Santiago de Cuba

Carnaval de Santiago

Carnaval de Santiago

See why this Carnaval is famous. It is one of the most vibrant celebrations in the Caribbean.

Festival del Caribe o Fiesta del Fuego (Festival of Caribbean Culture or Fire Festival)

Festival del Caribe o Fiesta del Fuego (Festival of Caribbean Culture or Fire Festival)

Mingle with locals and fellow travellers as you weave your way throughout exhibits and performances by artists from all around the Caribbean.


Fiestas Navideñas

Fiestas Navideñas

Locals recreate the journey of Mary and Joseph around Christmas time in Trinidad.

Way of the Cross

Way of the Cross

At Easter, devout Catholics follow the “way of the cross” procession down the winding cobblestone streets of Trinidad.


Golf Tournaments

Golf Tournament

Avid golf fans should watch for the major golf tournaments held at the Varadero Golf Club in June and October.

National Rock Atenas Festival

National Rock Atenas Festival

The biggest event of its kind in Cuba, this rock festival is attended by the best bands in the country. The first 15 days of June.

Villa Clara

Fiesta de San Juan

Enjoy the nightly theatre commemorating the birth of Remedios at this festival in June.

Semana de la Cultura (Week of Culture)

Visit the main square in Remedios in May or June to take in the Week of Culture’s festivities.

Las Parrandas

This spectacular street party typically takes place the week before Christmas, and includes floats, fireworks and dancing.