Mini Guide to Cuba

Old Havana: City in Movement

Organized by the respected Retazos Dance Company, the City in Movement festival is a celebration of dance. It takes place in Old Havana every April, with performances in the squares, parks, and museums in the area.

Artists show off traditional and contemporary dance choreographies, but there are also conferences, exhibitions, and workshops. Companies from more than 12 countries attend the festival as well as Cuban artists from 11 provinces who collaborate for the improvement of dance.

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Carnival of Santiago de Cuba

Taking place at the end of July, the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba is the biggest and most famous in Cuba. It’s an explosion of colors, happiness, and street floats blasting body-shaking songs to the dancing crowds.


One of the main features of the carnival is the comparsas, which are street performances of musical groups and costumed dancers. Traditionally there were two categories: the rich and lavish playing orchestras called paseos, and the poor citizens playing percussions instruments called conga. Nowadays, it’s mainly the congas that fill the streets and party the day and night away.

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People and Culture

Since the new Ministry of Tourism was created in 1994, the government has been investing heavily to attract visitors, with 4.5 million tourists in 2017. However, Cuba is still considered a “pure” country that hasn’t been “tarnished” by uncontrolled tourism.

Most of the population is super welcoming and will go out of their way to help travelers and make them feel at home. Visitors should try to stay in casas particulares (private houses with government licenses to operate) if they’d like to see the “real” Cuba.

Like other Caribbean countries, music plays a big part in people’s lives, and taking the time to watch and dance the rumba or salsa, might help you dig deeper into the culture.

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10 Interesting New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

In the Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely-used calendar system in the world, the start of the New Year is celebrated on January 1. In North America, bottles of champagne are popped, kisses are exchanged, and everyone sings and makes noise to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Some traditions that we take part in are unique to our culture, even if it seems like everyone does them. In other parts of the globe, the celebration of the New Year looks quite different — some cultures even celebrate it on a completely separate day.

Weirdest American Holiday Traditions

The holiday season is here and businesses across the United States are going all-out to make sure that their decorations are better than the year before. The majority of Americans get so excited about holidays that it’s easy to forget how many traditions are strangely unique to the American culture. Actually, there are a large number of uniquely American holiday traditions that seem strange to those who didn’t grow up here. Let’s explore some of the weirdest American holiday traditions that are out there today.

The World in Liquor

When you go out for a night, how many options for liquor does your home base bar have on offer? Sure, they’ve probably got some standard gins, vodkas, rums, whiskies, and tequilas—but probably not much of anything else. If you’re traveling, one of the best ways to start to get to know the local culture is to indulge in a popular local drink.