Baracoa: Cuban New Years

What a totally different New Year’s Eve!
In Europe, New Year’s Eve is like the party of the year. I am used to celebrate the night with my friends, to have drinks, play games, dance, go crazy and enjoy beautiful fireworks at midnight. It has always been like that, and I have always been a New Year’s Eve- lover. Of course, I am also used to disappointments. The expectations for New Year’s eve are always very high and sometimes it doesn’t end up the way you thought it would (which happens often with parties that are announced to be ”the party of the year”). And this time, New Years was just a completely different holiday.

It stated off with an absolutely amazing dinner. My hosts Ana and20141231_192304 Ricardo, Ricardo’s mom and also the new guests from the Netherlands who had arrived and taken over my room (hmh) were also there. As the Dutch lady didn’t speak English or Spanish I had to be the translator. My job as a translator was funny and awkward at the same time as my Dutch is not that good. Anyways, we had fun. We listened to Frank Sinatra and had great conversations. The Dutch couple went to bed (the lady suddenly started crying and was super dramatic-ok..).

So yeah, then it was my hosts and me. We had some wines, beer and then watched some TV. This was the first time that I actually had access to a TV which seemed to work quite alright. There were maybe about 5 channels, colours! and the quality was not that bad. But still, it looked like those TV programmes they had in the 80s. We watched like a New Years program20141216_215702me. What you should also keep in mind that New Year’s is also the day of the revolution. So therefore, they celebrate the Ano Nuevo 2015, but also the 56 Ano de la revolucion.  So there were like revolution-spots with nostalgic music and clips of the revolution and military parades, etc. Oh and of course, a lot of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

We then went out to the city to see what’s going on. It was so nice to walk around with my hosts. No guy dared to make any annoying comments or sounds although I was wearing a dress.
Ricardo, Ana and the grandma were simply adorable. Super sweet. If you are in Baracoa, stay at their place, it is absolutely fantastic.
Anyways, in the city, there was nothing! No street party, nothing! People were at home, watching TV or listening to music. Ana and Ricardo explained to me that New Year’s Eve was a family holiday. Christmas is more the party holiday with fireworks, etc. I was really suprised.

So, we went back home and continued drinking and watching TV. Lots of neighbours also came over to wish us happy new year and I had really nice conversations with them. At midnight, we opened a bottle of sparkling wine which was nice, hugged each other and wished ”Feliz Ano Nuevo”. Outside, there were no fireworks. Only a couple of light balls in the air which was also pretty. Still, it was really weird. No noise, no party. And it was warm. What a different experience.

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We ended the night with more nice conversations, TV. and drinks. Even though I was a bit disappointed, I was also happy and didn’t mind the experience of a family New Year’s Eve.


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