Before the rain took over the city this Saturday, Havana held its first aquatic carnival as a celebration in advance of its 500th anniversary.
It was a morning of joy and color on Havana’s Malecón seawall, which featured dozens of vessels parading through the bay and the coast before the eyes of hundreds of people.
The vessels, decorated for the occasion, carried flags, balloons and other ornaments and dancers and other carnival characters also sailed along with their captains.
At the same time, cultural activities were held in several places, especially for children, with magicians, clowns and musical and dance groups. Cuban and children’s music reigned throughout the morning.
There were also street dances, including the already traditional El Alacrán, La Jardinera, Los Componedores de Batea and the Guaracheros de Regla. These were again joined by the charismatic Voluminosas, who despite their apparent extra pounds, danced and laughed with the grace that characterizes them.
Meanwhile, along the seawall, a row of kiosks offered food and snacks, widely accepted by Havanans under the intense summer sun.
The aquatic celebration served as a preamble to the traditional carnival, which will once again summon Havanans in mid-August. But apparently this Saturday’s sea festival could be a celebration to be repeated in coming years.