Day of the Dead in Cuba

Text and Photos by Irina Echarry

Day of the dead exposition.

HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 9 — On the first day of November a cultural forum was held in Old Havana for the “Day of the Dead” and “All Souls’ Day” (on November 2).

Day of the Dead altar.

Songs, colors and harmony dominated the afternoon dedicated to two important figures of Latin American culture: Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz and the Mexican writer Fernando Benitez.

These intellectuals had major points in common: they both carried out anthropological and sociological work as well as research, they each taught, and they respectively left works that set standards in the search for knowledge pertaining to Cuba’s African roots and the roots of indigenous cultures in Mexico,.

Day of the Dead in Cuba

Havana’s Casa de Africa (Africa Center) opened its doors to all of us who wanted to share in this celebration along with the group “Los Nanis,” who sang spiritual songs dedicated to the beings that guide us and light our way.  Likewise, Afro-Cuban dances blessed the public.

Day of the Dead in Havana.

In the evening, at the Mexico Center —a traditional setting for this celebration— the youngest among us were especially moved by the altar with candles, large skulls, dances and a positive energy that charged the atmosphere.

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5 thoughts on “Day of the Dead in Cuba

  • I have this friends that are from Cuba! They are amazing. Don’t really speak english, but thats fine I like talking to them in spanish. I use a translator, but who cares they are amazing friends

  • The Day of the Dead is observed in various forms all over the world. The Greeks, Romans, the Celts, American Indian, Saxons, way back to paleolithic times. All humans have experiences the death of someone, and in early times, it happened more frequently (?) and very visibly. We mourn those who have gone from us, our ancestors, and the sure knowledge that one day we will be dead. I think I am just going onto the next thing, but I respect the dead. Halloween is a holy day in many cultures.

  • James did you even research this matter? This seems to be junk. I expect more from y´all.

  • gut, very gut, this passage was useful, so thanks for the info.

  • This article was very insightful. Thank you for posting it.

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