And the end of 2017 is here!

 

 

December lets you know that a year is coming to an end and another is beginning. With the last days of the last month come Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, festivities that the family and friends enjoy.

It is customary that for this date people paint their homes. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
It is customary that for this date people paint their homes. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

During these days people wish others good things, rethink the results of the year and make plans for the following.

Some persons resort to fortune-tellers to predict the future. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Some persons resort to fortune-tellers to predict the future. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Most of the people live this change of year with optimism. But there are those who cry, who cannot withstand the melancholy or the sadness over the hard times they have recently had to endure.

A salesman tries to keep vegetables and garden produce fresh. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
A salesman tries to keep vegetables and garden produce fresh. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

In Cuba, celebrating New Year’s Eve is a rooted tradition. It is probably the most important festivity Cubans celebrate in the entire year.

Pork reaches boutique prices. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Pork reaches boutique prices. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

It is the time to slaughter the hog that has been fattened for months, and also to “slaughter” everything from the past.

Around these days offerings are also made to the saints. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Around these days offerings are also made to the saints. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Most of the families empty their piggy banks to buy, even if it costs them a fortune, the pork that has to be plenty. (Although there are Cubans who try to give New Year’s Eve another flavor).

Shopping for the produce to celebrate Christmas. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Shopping for the produce to celebrate Christmas. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

The smell of fried or roasted pork, seasoned with a lot of garlic, spreads.

Cubans consume a lot of beer around these days. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
People consume a lot of beer around these days. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

No matter what, there has to be plenty of rice cooked with black beans (congrí), or black beans – better if they are sleeping – and the taro or plantain chips. Rum, among all of them, will be the king of the party.

An outlet decorated for Christmas. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Christmas tree in Havana’s Lonja del Comercio. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

The tradition of celebrating Christmas, although lost for decades, has again gained force on the island. Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1998 led the Cuban State to again declare December 25 as a holiday.

The Yumurí shop shows a mannequin wearing a Christmas hat. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
The Yumurí shop shows a mannequin wearing a Christmas hat. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

The Christmas Eve supper and Christmas Day, commemorating the birth of Christ, is celebrated Cuban style. The party especially has a family and private sense.

A nun takes photos in the church on Reina Street. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
A nun takes photos in the church on Reina Street. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

It is increasingly more common to see Christmas trees, lights on balconies and the chubby Santa Claus in Cuban homes and business.

The Christmas motifs have left the religious temples.

The state-run shops in Havana each time sell more Christmas articles. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
The state-run shops in Havana each time sell more Christmas articles. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Families are resuming the custom of making gifts.

Sales? Another of Christmas’ achievements in Cuba. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Sales? Another of Christmas’ achievements in Cuba. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Increasingly more commercial establishments, restaurants, service salons, and even offices are decorated for the date.

Christmas also got to Havana’s Chinatown. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.
Christmas also got to Havana’s Chinatown. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Red takes on another meaning.

 

And even snow appears on this island that seems to always want to celebrate.

Photo by Otmaro Rodriguez
Photo by Otmaro Rodriguez

Related Post

Comments

THE NEWS IN YOUR MAILBOX

Subscribe to our newsletters to be aware of the most relevant articles published on OnCuba.

THE NEWS IN YOUR MAILBOX

Diario

Semanal

Breaking News

Advertising

El muro

La caricatura