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Traditions & Customs of Santiago de Cuba


Santiago de Cuba is the most Caribbean of the Cuban cities. This is due to the geographic location, but also to its human origins, a blend of Spanish, African and French origins and many more Haitians, Jamaicans, Guadalupeños and Martiniqueses than in any other place of the island. We can’t talk about Santiago de Cuba without mentioning the carnivals, the trova, the proclamation and its rum, a symbol of the Caribbean culture.

The traditions of Santiago de Cuba, its fables and wonderful myths, validate the reason of being of all the ones that live in these noble and loyal lands. The most traditional carnival in the island is the carnival of Santiago de Cuba. This is a festivity originated in the Fiestas de los Mamarrachos, which took place in the beginning of the XVII century and that has evolved to become the massive party we known today, celebrated between the 21 and 27 of July.

Another tradition in Santiago de Cuba is the proclamation, born from a characteristic sing of the ambulant vendors so their customers buy what they’re selling. This Cuban tradition fills with life, music and colors the beautiful streets of Santiago.

The Cuban rum has its origin in Santiago de Cuba and 1862 is the year when everything starts, with the use of a new technology that is capable of modifying the rum known back them for a softer and more aromatic one. Since then, the new and old live together: nonagenarian barrels possess the oldest liquids; masters of the rum keep the “know how” learned generation to generation. Several technological advances have arrived too and all in order to make Santiago de Cuba the birthplace of Light Rum.