Christmas In Cuba

By BobbyRica | December 22, 2011

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The most joyous occasion in Cuba has got to be Christmas. It has proven to be such a colorful, festive and marked religious celebration no outsider should ever consider passing up. With a country predominantly populated by Roman Catholic followers, Christmas has been a cherished holiday that even a dictator cannot stop.

cuban xmas

When Cuba entered into socialism in 1962, people feared that Christmas along with other Catholic holidays would be banned. And they were. Socialism espoused atheism and it had no room for sentimental tradition. It also interfered with the sugar harvest festival. So in 1969, Christmas was then officially erased from the national calendar. It meant public displays of Yuletide-themed decorations including Christmas trees and nativity scenes were banned. The only exception were places where foreign visitors frequented like hotels and eateries.

Thing changed, however, when Pope John Paul II paid a visit to Socialist Cuba in 1997. His quiet charm had touched President Castro so much that the dictator rescinded the law and quickly restored Christmas.

cubaxmas

With Christmas back again, Cubans soon started observing the Christian holiday. And they did, with grandeur! In Havana’s Revolution Square, thousands gather for midnight service. One can hear Church bells ring across the capital to signal Christmas Day. People watch on huge television screens as the Pope said Christmas Mass in Rome.

Cubans, as all people from the Caribbean, celebrate Christmas as a rowdy fiesta. Gift giving is an inseparable highlight. This act is a sign of spreading goodwill and happiness to one’s fellowmen. Special meals are even prepared and festive decorations abound in houses.

xmas gifts

It is customary for the locals to go shopping for gifts, fruits, beans and other food items before the holidays. Expect bright lights, beautiful shiny ornaments like stars, Christmas trees, balloons, toys that makes Christmas a dazzling experience in Cuba.

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