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Parrandas - Work in progress

The Cuban heritage is quite rich with some festivities that go all the way back to 19th century, such as Las Parrandas. In 1820, as the story goes, a young priest noticed diminished attendance at mass from December 16 until Christmas. Hoping to attract parishioners, he instructed children to go out into the streets with cans, horns, bugles, rattles or any kind of noisemaker, hoping that the raucous noise would attract churchgoers. As the tradition evolved, organised bands began playing music in the streets, competing with each other in order to get the best performance. The idea then spread throughout the country.


My last visit was a chance to explore this carnival-street party concretely in Camajuani, a small town of Villa Clara. I photographed the energy, the parades, the fireworks and the people from this municipality and other parts of the country who get really immersed in this peculiar event as is part of the Cuban idiosyncrasy.  It takes place in different parts of Cuba, been the most popular Parrandas in Remedios, where these festivities were originated followed by many others in small towns around Cuba.


Unfortunately, it might be affected in the future by the slowly westernisation that the country has suffered in the previous years due to tourism, specially from his closest neighbour, United States. This impact might not only affect the cultural heritage of the country but also Cuba’s infrastructure, economy and natural environment.

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