Archive for July 27th, 2011

Carnival Museum

27 July 2011

By Lisa Marie Griffith

In my last post I mentioned that I visited Cuba this summer. The one museum I had as a ‘must see’ was the Carnival Museum in Santiago de Cuba. The earliest written record of Carnival being celebrated in Santiago dates to 1679 and the festivities centered around dancing and drinking to mark and celebrate the summer season. Its believed the practice probably came from Spain where Carnivals were held from the sixteenth century. Carnival in Santiago is one of the biggest celebration of its kind in the Caribbean.

The Carnival Museum exhibits costumes, masks and musical instruments which were used in the parades and festivities and brings visitors through the history of the festivity in Santiago documenting periods when the Carnival was prohibited or when certain groups were not allowed to take part.  Photographs are not allowed in the museum so I was limited to photographing some of the murals on the walls outside.

The museum draws a huge number of tourists and the museum made me think of  St. Patrick’s Day Festival. I have to admit that I was really impressed this year by the Dublin parade which had a literary theme to celebrate the city being awarded the title of a UNESCO literary city. Read more