Have a religious experience on this route through Habana that will familiarize you with local customs, folklore and beliefs. Learn with a local guide about the curiosities of Afro-Cuban religions and the syncretism process they suffered with the Christian religion. And above all, experience those best known and interesting rituals by the hand of "practitioners", so that you ask and enjoy what every good Cuban wants: Aché! The tour includes a visit to museums that treasure the history of Afro-Cuban religions, as well as other more private spaces where these religions are practiced in their daily lives.
Las religiones afrocubanas forman parte indisoluble de la identidad del pueblo cubano. Han evolucionado en cultura con matices propios, manteniendo a veces ritos y tradiciones propias de África y otras se sincretizan con la religión cristiana. Nace así una práctica nueva, una cultura y una forma de expresarse diferente.
Los esclavos negros que emigraron a Cuba mantuvieron inicialmente el culto de sus antiguos dioses, que a la larga dio lugar a varios sistemas religiosos en los que reestructuraron sus creencias. Así las prácticas religiosas de la cultura yoruba cristalizaron en un solo cuerpo litúrgico al que denominaron la Regla de Ocha o Santería; la Regla de Palo y la Sociedad Secreta Abakuá.
En Cuba la más practicada es la Regla de Ocha, la cual tiene orishás que son deidades que gobiernan diversos aspectos del mundo. Pero el santo más popular entre los cubanos es Changó, el dios del trueno. Tiene una especial importancia en la cultura musical ya que el objeto mitológico asociado a Changó son los tambores batá. Los santeros realizan las ceremonias en sus propias casas, porque la santería carece de templos.
The first stpo will be Callejón de Hamel, a community cultural project developed by Salvador González Escalona, a Cuban sculptor and muralist. In a kind of outdoor gallery you can immerse yourself in Afro-Cuban culture and enjoy its musical expressions, as well as dance performances. It is located in a 200-meter alley where the African origins of Cuban identity have been embodied through wall painting, poetry, saints' dances and music to the beat of the batá drums. You will get to know a multicultural space, full of life, traditions and practitioners that gather daily to take meetings, conferences and festivities.
Then we will visit a temple-house, a religious home where there are altars dedicated to the saints of the Yoruba pantheon. There, you will have a ceremony with a babalawo, a priest of Ifá, who will explain everything about the practice of Santeria. In this way, you can be active participants and enjoy a real experience of that religion.
In a cuban almendrón (taxi for prefixed routes), you will get to the Orishas Museumbelonging to Asociación Cultural Yoruba There, you can enjoy a permanent exhibition of sculptures featuring the different African deities, specifically from Nigeria, although some of the orishas are set in Cuban landscapes. The visit will complement the knowledge and understanding of Cuban syncretic cults.
The route goes on walking along the boulevard de Obispo and other Old Habana streets until you get to Doña Eutimia, an oasis of Creole food. A small, personal, elegant and stylish palate, with its decadent edge and its romantic twist. There, you can taste dishes that combine the heritage of African and Spanish culture
Later, after a short walk, we will visit the Casa de Africa Museum, hosted in an old colonial house in Old Habana. This space offers the possibility of discovering the influence of African culture in the Cuban idiosyncrasy through various exhibitions with more than two thousand pieces. One of the greatest treasures of the collection are the sacred objects of santeria gathered by the ethnographer Fernando Ortiz, the slavery collection and the mask collection. You can even enjoy some of the cultural activities - Afro-Cuban shows and video projections - that are organized periodically in the institution.
Later, we will walk to the pier to take a ferry that will transport us to the town of Regla, characterized by its strong religiosity and especially for its syncretism. There, practitioners of Christian religion, Santería, Palo Monte and the Abakuá Secret Society coexist. We will cross the bay of Habana enjoying the beautiful views of the coast, and once we get there, we will visit its well-known sanctuary dedicated to the Virgen de Regla, the patron saint of the town. At the Monument dedicated to Abakuá Secret Society, a practitioner will give you a brief talk about the characteristics of this religion / brotherhood, exclusive to men.
Other places of interest to visit:
For lunch, we will stop at a "paladar" in the historic center, where you can taste excellent traditional Cuban fusion food.
All private field trips and city tours can be modified and adapted to the client's needs.
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