Sunday, October 13, 2019

Havana 500 years

Sabanas Blancas -- Omara Portuondo
Havana 500 years

Havana celebrates 500 years
Cuba’s capital will be celebrating its 500th anniversary this November with festivities to honour this historic half-century milestone.  Havana, founded on November 16, 1519, was originally called San Cristobal de La Habana.  The city's historic centre was named UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982 and the surrounding city declared one of seven global "New 7 Wonders Cities in 2015. 

As part of the anniversary celebrations music will take over public spaces. The Cuban Institute of Music has lined up a series of concerts with the country’s best musicians, taking place every second, third and fourth Saturday each month until the big birthday bash in November. From festivals and cultural shows to theatre productions and art exhibitions — to culminate in November with an exhibition of ‘Footprints on the City’ by 50 Cuban painters, the premiere of  ‘Cecilia Valdés’ and the Alabanza international dance event. On the eve of the anniversary we will have "Habanera Night" -with music, poetry, theatre and food throughout the city, along with fireworks at midnight. Havana is reopening facilities that have sat empty for several years, including the Cuatro Caminos market, currently a shopping centre.

"Everywhere you go in Havana, you will experience the feeling of music in the air. Cuba, especially Havana is one of the main centres of Latin American music and dance," says Eloy Govea, the Cuba Tourist Board’s director for Canada.We encourage people to go outside the resorts, to mingle with locals and visit cities such as Havana. Cuban people are so open, so talkative, so easygoing, so cheerful and willing to share. This year is a perfect opportunity for Canadians to visit and celebrate Havana's 500th anniversary."

Postcards from Cuba: Havana celebrates 500 years

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