Los cubanos podrán celebrar el fin de año, asegura el régimen

What are the Cuban customs at the end of the year?

CDMX, Mexico.- There are only hours left to close the year, one of the most popular celebrations on the island and that did not disappear after 1959.

These 12 months have put all the ingenuity and patience to the test in a country that had to endure half-day blackouts, endless queues to get food, pharmacies where essential medicines are in short supply. A country that has more than a thousand political prisoners. The year is coming to an end, and on the island, the highest aspiration of many is to at least survive without so many hardships in 2023, if they cannot leave.

After a difficult year, marked by the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Cubans who will not be with their families today, we come to the last day of 2022. One of the traditions for the last night is to watch the special programming that is being prepared for these dates. with music and comedians, but there are other customs that characterize the inhabitants of this island. With what other traditions do we say goodbye to the cycle?

How to attract prosperity?

In order to have a better year, Cubans await the first of January with rituals that supposedly augur prosperity. The first is to throw a bucket of water outside the house at exactly 12. This would work as a kind of cleansing by removing “the bad” from the home and opening the new year with greater success and joy. In some houses they don’t just throw the liquid, but they clean all the rooms and then take the water out.

Also to call for good luck, there are those who wear a red garment on the last day of the year. These customs vary according to family beliefs and places of residence. For example, in some homes they cross themselves or make religious prayers. While in other parts of Cuba it is customary to burn some old clothes.

In fact, it is not the only clothes that burn, it is also a Cuban tradition to set fire to a doll that represents the old year. In this way it is supposed that all the bad things of the expired year are destroyed and the new one is received, hoping for better things.

Last but not least, to have economic prosperity it is recommended to put money inside your shoes or step on a bill at midnight.

Burning a doll is one of the most popular traditions. (Photo Cuballama)

The journey, the highest step of prosperity

Among these rituals that each end of the year Cubans do to look for a better year, we leave a special place for the trip around the block with suitcase included.

It is increasingly common to find entire families going out at midnight, dragging their suitcases on wheels or with briefcases on their backs. The goal is to be able to travel that year and leave Cuba. This suitcase must be full, as if you were really going to fly.

Typical food

Finally, we have left in this list of traditions the typical New Year’s Eve food.

Historically some of the most served dishes on the Cuban table for these dates are arroz congrí, tostones, yucca with mojo, cold salad and the desired pork. Sadly in this 2022 getting a piece of meat has become an odyssey of days in lines, rectifying the turn and with prices that exceed the pockets. On the other hand, the other dishes are not easily accessible either.

To this list we add some of the traditional desserts: flan, fritters in syrup, rice pudding, fruit jam with cheese, nougat. Sadly today some are dream bites for many. Even so, the essence of these dates is to be able to meet with the family and hope with them for a better year.

What are the Cuban customs at the end of the year?
(Collage: taken from the Cuban Fiestas blog)

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