Add or subtract the given number of hours to/from Santiago de Cuba time to get the time in these cities.

Whether they are called carnavales, charangas or parrandas, large public celebrations dating at least (in Santiago de Cuba) as far back as the 17th century are common throughout Cuba.

However, among Cubans, the Carnaval of Santiago de Cuba enjoys a special status (Pérez I 19).

, fritters, fruits, fried or roast pork with boiled plantains, horse racing, performances by theatre groups, paseo (a parade of animal-drawn carriages), bonfires, carrying torches on pilgrimages to sanctuaries, consumption of the alcohol such as aguardiente and “Yara” rum, beer, the wearing of costumes and masks, masked balls (with live music and dancing in the styles of , which were songs, that mock and insult others, the spontaneous parading of the comparsas, and the montompolo - which was a massive parade on the last day, that gathered together all the participating comparsas in one big rollicking performance to mark the end of the festivities for that year.

By the end of the 1800's, the bonfires, torch bearing pilgrimages, and horse-racing had pretty much died out.

But carnival cannot be explained only in terms of its African roots.

Many of the practices and events within carnival culture are deliberately and consciously framed to connect to a construct of African’s that has resulted from over one hundred years of multicultural Cuban history.

However, as with other similar traditional festivals in Cuba such as the Charangas de Bejucal, the authorities have always decided to let such celebrations take place, since they act as a releasing of tensions for the slaves (during the time of slavery) and the lower classes.

In effect they provide the people a form of entertainment, distraction, and a sense of freedom, even if just for a few days, and this has tended to dampen the desires for uprising and revolt against the authorities.

Find cheap Toronto - Santiago de Cuba flights with our free flight search engine.