Havana Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Havana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba)




Cuban folk are a musical bunch and enjoy having a good time, showing off their culture wherever possible. Most of the events and festivals in the capital of Havana are centred around Cuban music and dance, and not one month goes by without some type of concert or performance.

Popular Havana celebrations include the National Theatre Festival in February and La Huella de Espana in April, while the Havana Carnival is an ongoing event over July and August. Other things to do for tourists include the International Hemingway Fishing Tournament each June and the International Fair (FIHAV) in November.


Havana Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Triumph of the Revolution (Triunfo de la Revolución) - January 1st, a national Cuban holiday
  • Cuballet de Invierno - fun winter ballet festival featuring traditional and modern Cuban dance. The vaunted Pro Danza Centre is the venue for this gathering
  • Cabildos Festival - one of the city's many festivities relating to Cuban culture, with parading locals dancing through the streets of the city

February


  • International Book Fair - early February, Cuba's main book assembly takes place at the San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress (Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana) and ExpoCuba venues, and is known to Cubans as the Feria Internacional del Libro de La Habana. Expect presentations, readings and the prestigious award, the Premio Casa de las Americas
  • National Theatre Festival - a three-week extravaganza of dance and opera at the theatre in Old Havana

March


  • Havana Drum Festival - early to mid-March, with lots of drumming at the Amadeo Roldan Theatre (Teatro Amadeo Roldan), along with several other high profile venues
  • International Festival of Electroacoustic Music - early March, one of the main spring events in the Cuban capital, with 'electro-acoustic' music courtesy of local musicians, composers and DJs

April


  • La Huella de Espana - late April, keeping Spanish culture within the psyche of Cubans is this annual festival of Spanish dance. This takes place at venues throughout the city
  • Havana Biennial - month-wide, featuring contemporary art courtesy of scores of international artists with exhibitions in galleries and museums all over the city. Of note, this is a biennial event, being staged during even-numbered years
  • International Choir Festival (Internacional de Coros) - staged at the Teatro Amadeo Roldan, attracting some of the world's very best choirs. Visitors can expect a number of workshops, as well as plenty of concerts

May


  • May Day / Labour Day (Dia de los Trabajadores) - May 1st, a national Cuban holiday, as with most of the rest of the world. It was on this day where historically Fidel Castro would deliver an annual speech at the Plaza de la Revolucion
  • Havana International Guitar Festival - mid-May, another of the city's many musical events, which sees up-and-coming guitarists from around the country play all over the capital
  • Cubadisco - a music extravaganza and trade fair, staged each year in May at the Pabexpo conference centre, with a glamorous awards ceremony
  • International Poetry Festival - the Festival Internacional de Poesia de La Habana provides the chance for international poets to meet up each year at the Convento de San Francisco de Asis

June


  • International Hemingway Fishing Tournament - early June, of the many fishing events in Cuba, this one is the most important, taking place at the Marina Hemingway
  • International Golden Boleros Festival (Boleros de Oro) - with a variety of song and dance boleros at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, among other venues. This event was first held in 1986 and celebrates the musical heritage of Cuba, and always draws large crowds

July


  • Commemoration of the Assault of the Moncada Garrison - July 25th / 26th / 27th, a national Cuban public holiday
  • Havana Carnival (Carnaval) - late July / early August, featuring two months of carnival celebrations on weekends in both July and August, with street parties, parades along the Malecon, and lots of music and dancing
  • La Rampa Art Fair - a month-long event at the Pabellón Cuba in the city centre, featuring live music, craft fairs, and clown shows for kids

August


  • Cubadanza - early August, this is the main summer festival for Cuba, showcasing the best of Cuban dance in the capital
  • International Hip Hop Festival - based in the neighbouring suburb of Alamar and known for its youthful, energetic vibe. This music fest is organised by the Asociacion Hermanos Saiz

September


  • Que Siempre Brille el Sol baseball tournament - late September, Cubans love baseball and the city's baseball stadium features big games in September, which are accompanied by a noticeable party atmosphere

October


  • Havana Festival of Contemporary Music (Musica Contemporanea) - early October, featuring several concerts at the UNEAC and other venues during the rainy season
  • Independence Day (Dia de la Independencia) - October 10th, remembering this important day in 1868, when the war of independence against the colonial Spanish began
  • Havana International Ballet Festival - late October, this popular week-long ballet fest see troupes arrive from around the world performing at the glitzy Gran Teatro

November


  • Chorus Festival - with concerts galore at the Convent of San Francisco de Asis. Other prominent city venues also get in on the Chorus Festival
  • FIHAV, Havana International Fair - late November, with well over a thousand exhibitors from dozens of countries and a huge crowd of spectators for this much anticipated international fair, known locally as the Feria Internacional de la Habana
  • Jo Jazz - late November, 'Young Jazz' is very much the theme of this autumn jazz fest
  • International Jazz Festival - late November / early December, featuring Cuban jazz musicians at spots all over the capital, such as the Casa de las Americas

December


  • Festival of New Latin American Cinema (Neuvo Cine Latinoamericano) - early December, a popular cinematic event with international movies run at theatres around the city centre, celebrating all aspects of Latin American cinema
  • Christmas (Navidad) - December 25th, Yuletide celebrations arrive in the country, although this is a relatively new addition to the calendar of Cuban public holidays







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