Saturday, 24 December 2011


On the menu in Cuba
Have you ever heard a pig squeal?  With a bag over it’s head and carried out of the home into the unknown, the pig will kick and struggle and you can hear it’s cry sounding all around the neighbourhood.  The first time I heard it, I thought, ‘what the hell is that?’, but now the sound has become familiar and accepted, it’s a sign of a Cuban celebration; a birthday, Christmas, New Year.  

All year round Cubans will collect their scraps in a slosh bucket, ‘sancocho’, and it is someone’s job to come and collect it every few days to feed the pig in which they have a stake.  Usually, family members will buy a piglet amongst themselves and feed it all year round ready for Christmas or New Year celebrations.  

Christmas in Trinidad, Cuba with the family usually means a family meal on Christmas Eve.  As they are not very religious, Christmas Day is just like any other day, but New Year’s Eve is when the party begins, it’s a day-long fiesta!!!!  

Draught Beer in Cuba
My New Year’s Eve experience in Trinidad, I arrived to find that the family had hired a beer pump with easy access to refreshing cold beer all day long, and the family pig roasting slowly in the garden.  People from the neighbourhood & friends passing by all day long with warm wishes, and a quick drink to toast in the new-year; it was like Piccadilly Circus!

Then the family would arrive and the feast would begin, by which time I was already feeling merry, and full from picking at food all-day long.  There’s only so much beer I can take, so I crack open a bottle of rum and the dancing begins into the early hours of the new-year.  

Feliz Año Nuevo, amigos mios, I will miss you this year!

Typical Cuban Meal Fiestas

New Year Celebrations Trinidad, Cuba 2006

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