For those looking to indulge in the culture of Cuba, a visit to the Festival Del Caribe should be high on the list of things to do when in the country. The festival, which literally translates as the Caribbean Festival, runs during the first week in July, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the various features of it.
The Festival del Caribe is a celebration of the arts, with the main features being poetry, theatre, culinary arts, painting and music amongst many others. The theme of the festival is the united concept of the Caribbean as a whole, in particular the unity of all of the nations which combine to create it. Traditionally the festival is opened with a number of speeches on the subject as an introduction to the festivities.
This festival is highly active, with dances in the streets, performance areas and outdoor exhibition areas. The attire sported by all at the show has a distinct African feel to it, which has seen this event become somewhat of a cult occurrence celebrated by thousands of people. The festival is similar to the Notting Hill Carnival in London in more than one respect, with some of the similarities being the various food stalls around the festival area which offer food from different parts of the Caribbean and the all night parties which are enjoyed with great vigour and passion. Children enjoy the opportunity to partake in, or watch, the processions involving animals, whilst adults will enjoy the constant supply of rum, which is the traditional tipple of the region.
One thing you will soon realise if you spend any amount of time in Cuba, is that they take great pride in their food. A fascinating mix of a Caribbean taste but with a Cuban touch on it, the Festival of the Caribbean is a great chance to sample the foods of Cuba. Personally, it is the food and the people which excite me most about Cuba, although the scenic locations of islands such as Varadero and its beach, and Cayo Guillermo make me love the country also. The festival is also a great change to experience the vibrant music on the islands and Cuba is one island which embraces music within its culture. Music is a great outlet for many Cuban people and the upbeat music brings out the energy that everyone seems to have in these parts.
These are some of the best resources for gathering more information about visiting the festival: