Traditions and Customs in Villa Clara
Myths and legends write the history of Villa Clara and the founding of its cities. Imagination and history come together to try to explain many events and stories. There is talk of corsairs and pirates, of güijes and witches, of treasures found and lost. Churches and parks tell the religious traditions of Villa Clara. Remedios was, throughout history, the most attached to traditions.
With more than 500 years of tradition, once a year, on December 24, the Parrandas, declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, are celebrated there. Every year visitors come from all over the world to witness the rivalry between two neighborhoods and enjoy when they merge in their cultural manifestations of centuries-old origins, the original mixture that distinguishes the Cuban nation.
The custom was inherited from the Remedios of the first decades of the 19th century, who extended it to our days through a friendly challenge between El Carmen and San Salvador, two sides where the neighborhoods of the locality are grouped. According to the story in San Juan de los Remedios, the parish priest of the San Salvador hermitage armed street boys with rattles, whistles and cans, in the cold nights of December 1820, with the objective of awakening his parishioners for the masses that were celebrated on December 24, at night. Tradition dictates that the two sides compete for the prize for the Best Float and the most outstanding Square Work. The celebration usually begins with the creation of the floats and the square work in absolute silence to surprise the opponents. The vehicles recreate different stories and seek to impress the spectators, attracted by the music, lanterns and colored lights.