Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

CUBA TRAVEL BLOG: Farewell to the Feast of Fire in Eastern Cuba

Expand Messages
  • Walter Lippmann
    Farewell to the Feast of Fire in Eastern Cuba http://www.umbrellatravel.com/cubablog/?p=70 With the arrival of July in Cuba the temperatures rise, but also
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2008
      Farewell to the Feast of Fire in Eastern Cuba

      http://www.umbrellatravel.com/cubablog/?p=70

      With the arrival of July in Cuba the temperatures rise, but also begins a vibrant calendar of events and festivities. One of the liveliest cultural celebrations in this time of the year is the Caribbean Festival, also known as the Feast of Fire, which is held annually in the Cuban eastern city of Santiago de Cuba. Between the 3 and 9 of July each year it is an enjoyable week, full of dance, plays and music, where participants become witnesses of a great party with Caribbean flavor.

      But when this popular festivity of Caribbean cultures emerged? The Feast of Fire came to light in 1981 under the name of “Festival of Performing Arts of Caribbean Origin” in Santiago de Cuba, achieving this city the status of capital of the Caribbean. This event focuses on issues related to the preservation and development of Caribbean cultural diversity, as well as actions to unite the region and promote a cultural exchange with the rest of the world. It has become a popular celebration of regional music, folklore, plastic arts and literature.

      This year the provinces of Guantánamo and Santiago de Cuba shared the venue of the XXVIII edition of this encounter, promoted by the Caribbean House and the Cuban Ministry for Culture. The festival has gathered together a number of cultural expressions from the people of the Caribbean area, especially from Mexico, a region to which it is dedicated the event this time.

      What can be done and see during the festival? People can participate in the shows, cultural galas, parades, exhibitions of books and magazines, and magical-religious ceremonies that are performed in theaters, squares, parks and institutions. The public can appreciate the mixture of autochthonous ingredients, socio-cultural and religious rites that came from Africa, and part of the best of European traditions.

      The event had its popular inauguration with the Batá drums, in evocation to Eleguá and Obatalá, and gave the opening of the Parade of the Snake, a name that some associate with the importance of that animal in the symbology of the Congo people. And while the Devil was burning away by the sea, in the symbolic ceremony that serves as closing of the Feast of Fire, removing bad omens from this warm land; in Guantánamo “the changüí” was heard and Santiago danced to the beat of its conga and to the bachata.

      However, the most interesting feature of this festival is the carnival itself, when the whole city seems to take to the streets in one big dance party until the early hours of the morning.

      Until today, 9 of July, the festival’s activities provided cultural options in the Caribbean House, in the Traditions House, in the “Trova” House, and at the headquarters of the French Tumba, in museums, cultural centers, concert rooms and other establishments. There were several sites to visit in the framework of the event such as: the Universal Art Gallery, the Cabildo Teatral Santiago, the “Luis Díaz Oduardo” Cultural Workshop, the “Fernando Ortiz” Center and the squares and city parks, among many others.

      This festival also encourages artistic groups and regional researchers to analyze their common historic and cultural roots, so it’s a great opportunity to participate in panel discussions and enjoy the colloquium “The Caribbean that Unites Us”, which highlights the traditions of English and French origin, the French Tumba and other cultural expressions.

      Although the Feast of Fire ends today, the presence of musical and dancing groups, researches, writers and artists from almost 16 countries including Venezuela, United States, Germany, Costa Rica, Finland, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Honduras, Martinique, Belgium, Haiti, Argentina, Curacao, Denmark and France, enabled visitors to admire the uniqueness of the culture and traditions of Caribbean region through its joyful celebrations.


      =========================================
      WALTER LIPPMANN
      Los Angeles, California
      Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
      "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"
      =========================================
    • Walter Lippmann
      Farewell to the Feast of Fire in Eastern Cuba http://209.18.90.106/cubablog/?p=70#comments With the arrival of July in Cuba the temperatures rise, but also
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 1, 2008
        Farewell to the Feast of Fire in Eastern Cuba

        http://209.18.90.106/cubablog/?p=70#comments

        With the arrival of July in Cuba the temperatures rise, but also begins a
        vibrant calendar of events and festivities. One of the liveliest cultural
        celebrations in this time of the year is the Caribbean Festival, also known
        as the Feast of Fire, which is held annually in the Cuban eastern city of
        Santiago de Cuba. Between the 3 and 9 of July each year it is an enjoyable
        week, full of dance, plays and music, where participants become witnesses of
        a great party with Caribbean flavor.

        But when this popular festivity of Caribbean cultures emerged? The Feast of
        Fire came to light in 1981 under the name of “Festival of Performing Arts of
        Caribbean Origin” in Santiago de Cuba, achieving this city the status of
        capital of the Caribbean. This event focuses on issues related to the
        preservation and development of Caribbean cultural diversity, as well as
        actions to unite the region and promote a cultural exchange with the rest of
        the world. It has become a popular celebration of regional music, folklore,
        plastic arts and literature.

        This year the provinces of Guantánamo and Santiago de Cuba shared the venue
        of the XXVIII edition of this encounter, promoted by the Caribbean House and
        the Cuban Ministry for Culture. The festival has gathered together a number
        of cultural expressions from the people of the Caribbean area, especially
        from Mexico, a region to which it is dedicated the event this time.

        What can be done and see during the festival? People can participate in the
        shows, cultural galas, parades, exhibitions of books and magazines, and
        magical-religious ceremonies that are performed in theaters, squares, parks
        and institutions. The public can appreciate the mixture of autochthonous
        ingredients, socio-cultural and religious rites that came from Africa, and
        part of the best of European traditions.

        The event had its popular inauguration with the Batá drums, in evocation to
        Eleguá and Obatalá, and gave the opening of the Parade of the Snake, a name
        that some associate with the importance of that animal in the symbology of
        the Congo people. And while the Devil was burning away by the sea, in the
        symbolic ceremony that serves as closing of the Feast of Fire, removing bad
        omens from this warm land; in Guantánamo “the changüí” was heard and
        Santiago danced to the beat of its conga and to the bachata.

        However, the most interesting feature of this festival is the carnival
        itself, when the whole city seems to take to the streets in one big dance
        party until the early hours of the morning.

        Until today, 9 of July, the festival’s activities provided cultural options
        in the Caribbean House, in the Traditions House, in the “Trova” House, and
        at the headquarters of the French Tumba, in museums, cultural centers,
        concert rooms and other establishments. There were several sites to visit in
        the framework of the event such as: the Universal Art Gallery, the Cabildo
        Teatral Santiago, the “Luis Díaz Oduardo” Cultural Workshop, the “Fernando
        Ortiz” Center and the squares and city parks, among many others.

        This festival also encourages artistic groups and regional researchers to
        analyze their common historic and cultural roots, so it’s a great
        opportunity to participate in panel discussions and enjoy the colloquium
        “The Caribbean that Unites Us”, which highlights the traditions of English
        and French origin, the French Tumba and other cultural expressions.

        Although the Feast of Fire ends today, the presence of musical and dancing
        groups, researches, writers and artists from almost 16 countries including
        Venezuela, United States, Germany, Costa Rica, Finland, Colombia, Dominican
        Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Honduras, Martinique, Belgium, Haiti,
        Argentina, Curacao, Denmark and France, enabled visitors to admire the
        uniqueness of the culture and traditions of Caribbean region through its
        joyful celebrations.

        =========================================
        WALTER LIPPMANN
        Los Angeles, California
        Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
        "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"
        =========================================
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.