Would you like to be able to celebrate the Carnival some time other than on the mandatory dates in February or March? If so, don’t miss one of the liveliest traditional festivals of Cuba and the Caribbean. From the 3rd to the 9th of July every year, in Santiago de Cuba, they celebrate the Fiesta del Fuego or Fire Festival.
The Fire Festival, also known as the Festival of the Caribbean, brings together the various cultures of the Caribbean through dance, music and plain fun. Every year a Caribbean country appears as the special guest: dancers and musicians from that country interact with those from the rest of the countries and during the seven days that the festival lasts Santiago becomes a true carnival city.
The streets and squares of the city are filled with the sounds of the conga and the Cuban son, as well as those of the calypso, the French tumba, reggae, merengue, the cumbia, the Haitian kompa and the zouk of Martinique and Guadalupe, to name the best known of many different rhythms. The carnival lasts well into the early morning every night because the whole city seems to be out on the streets dancing and playing musical instruments, making it very hard to stop!
There are parades along Parque Céspedes, the main park in the city, and in the historic center of Santiago de Cuba. During the festival week dance, poetry, theater and music are supplemented by speeches given by experts and round tables, where you can learn about the history and traditions shared by the peoples of the Caribbean.
All in all, once you are in Santiago de Cuba you will surely discover that it is a very special place, with a rhythm of its own and plenty to see; the huge bay with its warm waters and the green mountains of Sierra Maestra provide an impressive backdrop. Given the passion for music and the artistic sensitivity of the locals, the city appears as one of the best scenarios in Cuba for events of this nature to the extent of being considered the Cultural Capital of the Caribbean. The Fire Festival is a great occasion and its carnivals are something one should experience at least once in a lifetime.
“IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts has a number of hotels in several areas of the island of Cuba, ranging from well-known destinations such as Varadero to less frequented but equally attractive zones such as Trinidad, and of course the majestic capital city of Havana. The hotel surroundings are spectacular, with beaches of fine gold sand, areas with a lot to see in terms of nature and some of the most significant buildings in the history of Cuba.”