Cuban Celebrations

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Cuba National Holidays

January 1 - New Year and celebrated as Liberation Day and the Triumph of the Revolution. This is the day after dictator Batista fled to the Dominican Republic and is considered the day Fidel Castro's revolution won in 1959.

May 1 - Labour Day Labour Day in Cuba is a day of big manifestations and speeches on the "Plaza de la Revolucion" celebrating the work force and the Communist party.

July 25 to 27 - Assault on the Moncada army barracks. A historical date of remembrance on July 26th 1953, when Castro's revolutionary forces attacked a garrison in Santiago de Cuba. Their attack failed and Fidel Castro was captured, after a trail he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, but after three years he was released and sent into exile.

May 20 - Independence Day In 1868, this was the day that Carlos Manuel de Cespedes began to fight against the Spanish for the Cuban independence.

December 25 - Christmas Day This holiday was long time banned by the Cuban government till the the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1998, when Christmas was re-established as an official Cuban holiday. Christmas eve (Noche Buena) is celebrated with the family while serving a dish of roast pig with rice and black beans.
Note, that of all celebrations, for many Cubans their own birthday is the most important.
UPDATE 2013:

Friday before Easter is a new holiday (Good Friday)

Other important historical dates

1492 The discovery of Cuba by Christopher Columbus, he probably landed in Baracoa.
1898 The Spanish - American War, started after the US warschip Maine was blown up and the US accused Spain of sabotage
1902 Tomás Estrade Palma became the first president of the Republic of Cuba
1925 Election of president Gerardo Machado
1952 Military coup led by Fulgencio Batista
1959 The thriumph of the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro
1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles backed by the US landed at playa Girón and defeated by the Cuban Revolutionary Army (FAR)
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviets agreed to withdraw their nuclear weapons from Cuba after a US blockade
1989 Collapse of the former Soviet Union and start of the "Special Period" in 1990 an era of extreme shortages.

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