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Parranda remediana: return to passion

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In 2020 the Remedios party turned 200 years old; but he did it without the well-deserved celebration due to the pandemic. The editions of the last two years were suspended. In 2022, in the San Salvador neighborhoods (Rooster) and El Carmen (Gavilán)they proposed to resume work in the respective parranderas ships.

December became the usual hotbed for the people of Remedios: young people, adults of different ages and members of their respective factions engaged in carpentry, costume decoration, props, electricity, floats, making lanterns, fireworks and music.

Photo: Roberto Santiago.

The bicentennial party

The people of Remedios have not wanted to lose the deeply rooted party since 1820. Then the first meetings were held, led by the parish priest Francisquillo. The father summoned boys to make noise and feasts towards the northern and southern commons of the territory on the cold nights of December 24, to attract parishioners to the so-called Aguinaldo masses. From then on, it became traditional and has become internationally famous for its uniqueness and popular solvency.

With the passage of time, the competitive environment prevails and the different popular artistic elements are developed. Weeks before Christmas Eve, the artists of the town began to appear, protagonists of the fronts of the party. The tradition also spread to areas surrounding Remedios.

Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.

Remedies in December

The people in the eighth villa can lack anything but the party; so is often heard in the city. It is vital for the people of Remedios, who anxiously await the event.

Due to the economic crisis and probably poor planning by the authorities, this year the budget dedicated to the tradition was greatly reduced: the members of both directives were forced to reduce the number and dimensions of the attractions, as well as subtract resources which are essential.

However, they resorted to the efforts of the parranderos and the help of remedios residing abroad to carry out the children’s party.

They have been weeks of revelry, as always, waiting for the party. There, in each area of ​​the central park, the frames rested. The cranes arrived and the crowd enjoyed every moment of the assembly of the pieces of the plaza works and the floats. The discussions of the followers in defense of their neighborhoods did not stop. The stress to finish every detail was constant, as it always is.

Before the beginning of the artistic appearances, in the late afternoon, there were displays of flyers from both neighborhoods that encouraged the spectators around the historic center of the town.

Photo: Roberto Santiago.

Christmas Eve in the cradle of parrandas

10 pm on December 24 was the time the great show began. This year he played the El Carmen midterms. At the opening, amazing multicolored sparklers with artistic cascades paid homage to unforgettable partygoers.

The entrances of mortars and fireworks continued. Next to the main church, place of work in the square, with a marine theme, the deafening uproar of the spectators did not stop.

On the side of the Hotel Mascotte, the San Salvador neighborhood lit up its plaza work “Yacuruna, the man from the river”, dedicated to an Amazonian legend in thematic connection with the float.

The night was full of polkas and congas from Carmelites and Sansaries, each side alternating for approximately sixty minutes.

The artillerymen from the neighborhoods burst in with the usual intensity of fire parranderil throughout the morning. Thus, the friendly struggle came to fruition until arriving at the departure time of the El Carmen float, which had an impact with a representation of marine fantasy. Showcasing characters with incarnation of inert images predominated among the blues and greens of the sea.

A rolling tour of popular euphoria featured with movements of flags and hawks. The excessive and jubilant bustle was heard that culminated in a victorious turn to the center of the park.

The defenders of San Salvador boasted of their exquisite float. The red banner of the radiant rooster stalked alongside his enthusiastic sansaris until it came to rest with a triumphant finish in front of his adversaries.

Through the well-known Máximo Gómez streets (whereabouts) and Avenida Solidaridad the music and the gastronomic offers complemented the celebration; but the prices, unaffordable for the majority, forced them to enjoy only the development of the party.

Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.

Fanatics and revelers of the eighth villa

Alejandro Calzada is the designer of the San Salvador float. He has lived in Miami for a few years. He spent several days visiting the Remedian warehouse where his work was made. He traveled to see his family and touch closely details of the Amazon theme that he proposed. “It is not easy to live without partying. I have spent more than thirty partying editions in these tasks giving my art and I cannot stop creating for this tradition of my people that I am passionate about”.

Among the tumult of the Carmelites, almost the entire Asunción Buzain party remained. She is over 70 years old. There is no one who speaks ill of her neighborhood, El Carmen. Her voice was taken, she was heard saying: “I live waiting for the 24th. With me there is no cold, illness or anything that prevents me from running over with my hawk. My husband, Pimpo, was from San Salvador. He had to leave the house because we couldn’t even look at each other these days. Unfortunately I lost a daughter to severe burns in a party. I felt it in my soul for a lifetime; but every year I have to be here paying homage to him. For me, partying and the El Carmen neighborhood is a healthy way to feel alive”.

Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.
Photo: Roberto Santiago.

sunrise with tradition

After 4 in the morning, the pyrotechnic ardor reappeared, overwhelming until the light of the morning of the 25th. The voices had become hoarse from so much vociferation. The congas with the most faithful followers of the neighborhoods woke up through the streets in celebration of triumph, characteristic joy of partygoers and foreigners.

The fans of El Carmen, with the symbolic hawk, and of San Salvador, with the rooster, they saw their neighborhoods win. As more than two hundred years ago, few accept defeat. Although the evidence favored the Sansaris, they all celebrate victory.

The children of Remedios, cradle of parrandas in Cuba, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2018, rescued their identity and tradition in the eyes of the world: the crowd partly alleviated their daily sorrows with the return to passion

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