Festivals and Events in Cuba
- Havana Jazz Festival | January
Get lost in the mesmerizing rhythms of Cuba’s world-renowned music at The Havana Jazz Festival, featuring daily performances across the city from the island’s hottest musicians. This festival is one of the island’s largest annual gatherings and is known for drawing an international crowd.
- Havana International Book Fair | February
This annual event takes the concept of a book fair out of a traditional conference hall and into the 16th century walls of El Morro, a colonial Spanish castle in the city’s harbor. This jubilant celebration goes beyond books and author lectures. The nation with a nearly 100% literacy rate blends international and local crowds for a jubilant celebration of family, music, food and cultural exchange.
- Habanos Cigar Festival | February
Calling all cigar aficionados! This annual event introduces guests to why the Cuban cigar has earned an international reputation as the best in class. Step inside Cuba’s oldest cigar factories, travel to tobacco-growing farms and taste classic Habanos at the Cuban Cigar Festival.
- Havana Salsa Festival | February
Cuba is where the world goes to dance. This week-long celebration features live music, salsa performances and more than 100 hours of workshops in Cuban Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton, Rumba and Kizomba offered in various skill levels. This is an annual event.
- Havana World Music Festival | March
Dubbed “the musical melting pot,” this annual music festival in the heart of Havana introduces its international crowd to the rich diversity and cultural heritage of Cuban music. It features a wide range of musical styles including funk, hip hop, folk, alternative, soul and modern takes on classic Caribbean rhythms.
- Fiesta del Tambor | March
Everything you need to know about the Fiesta del Tambor is in the name: Drum Party! This annual percussion festival features some of Cuba and the world’s greatest drummers and musicians. Come ready to move your feet because the Afro-Cuban rhythms are infectious!
- Havana Biennial | April/May
The Havana Biennial Art Exhibition is the island’s largest visual art event and takes place every other year. Each year is dedicated to a special theme spotlighting artists from Cuba, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
- Mayo Teatral | May
Watch as some of the most important theatre companies from Latin America take the stage in Cuba to give performances across the island. Mayo Teatral is a bi-annual theater festival that celebrates contemporary Latin American and Caribbean theater.
- Romerias de Mayo | May
Immerse yourself in a centuries-old tradition with The Romerias de Mayo, a celebration of Cuba’s rich religious heritage that takes place annually in the eastern city of Holguin. The festivities begin with a romeria, or short pilgrimage, to a cross that sits above the city and is followed by a joyous week-long celebration of dance, live music and exhibitions.
- International Culinary Festival of Havana | June
Whether you are a culinary professional, a master sommelier or a self-proclaimed foodie, you will love exploring the flavors of Cuba at this event. This festival is a non-competitive annual event celebrating Cuban food with tasting experiences, masterclasses, sommelier demonstrations and culinary exhibits.
- Boleros de Oro Festival | June
Let your heart surrender to the romantic sounds of bolero, the slow tempo Latin sound that has influenced music genres around the world. This festival takes place every year in Cuba, and features concerts, youth performances, dances and galas.
- Feria Internacional Cubadisco | June
Referred to as “the Cuban Grammy’s,” Cubadisco is one of the most important annual music events on the island. Originally created to showcase talent to the local recording industry, this competition has grown to include 25 prize categories and incredibly diverse musical performances.
- Festival Internacional de cine pobre de Gibara | July
Every year in a picturesque town by the sea, this alternative film festival celebrates movies made against all odds. “Cine Pobre” is a genre of cinema that strips away the high-cost barriers to the film industry and honors movies made on humble budgets.
- Festival del Caribe/Fiesta del Fuego | July
Each year in Santiago de Cuba, over 2,000 artists from over 15 countries come together for a vibrant festival with street performances, colorful costumes and the famed fire parade that celebrates the spirit of Cuban and Caribbean cultures.
- Santiago de Cuba Carnaval | July
Join a conga line in Cuba’s far east and participate in the island’s biggest carnaval festival. Santiago de Cuba transforms into a joyous celebration of contagious rhythms, color and dance beckoning Cubans and visitors to gather and honor the community, history and culture of Santiago de Cuba.
- Rumba Jazz y Son Festival | August
Four nights of music on Cuba’s most famous beach. This international music event takes place annually in Varadero and gives visitors a taste of the island’s undisputed quality of rhythmic music.
- Havana International Ballet Festival | October
Thanks to Alicia Alonso’s legacy, a world-famous Cuban prima ballerina, it is no surprise that Cuba excels in classical dance. This festival is held every two years in Havana and is one of the only events in the world dedicated exclusively to ballet.
- Marabana Marathon | November
Let the refreshing sea breeze, dreamy views of the ocean beyond el Malecón and Havana’s classic colonial architecture accompany you on your race. The Marabana Annual Marathon offers 5k, 10k, ½ and full marathon races, and admits Cubans and Americans alike to experience its unparalleled running path.
- Havana Film Festival | December
This annual festival draws film buffs from around the world to explore the cinematographic culture of Latin America and the Caribbean. It promotes filmmakers who work in the Spanish language and unlike the Cine Pobre festival in Gibara, it does not focus on low-budget films.
- Havana Art Weekend | December
This bi-annual program is a smaller, more intimate look into Cuba’s inspiring world of art. It takes place over a long weekend right after Miami Art Basel and includes exhibition openings, discussions in artist studios and performances in spaces throughout Havana.