The Santiago de Cuba Carnivals are celebrated every 21st of July and have been since the 17th century. Towards the end of the XVII century a procession began to run through the streets around the cathedral to celebrate the day of the Santiago Apostol, patron of the city. With time the celebrations grew to include the days of San Juan, San Pedro, Santa Cristina, Santa Ana and San Joaquin.
The influences of African and Franco - Haitian expressions mark the celebrations with music, dances and typical dresses. The congas, a sea of people marching through the streets of the city singing improvised songs to the rhythm of drums, the Chinese trumpet and other percussion instruments, characterize the carnivals. Huge dolls impersonating literature characters dance along the drums and music.
In brief, dance, music, costumes and lots of fun!