Santeria in Havana--NO NEED TO BE AFRAID!
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jun 6, 2012 11:57 PM Last Post By: Chrismic
Jun 4, 2012 3:05 PM
Santeria in Havana--NO NEED TO BE AFRAID!Hello and thank you to all of you who responded my Santeria questions about 7 weeks ago.
I had an AMAZING and yes, AUTHENTIC, Santeria experience in Havana a couple of weeks ago. Actually I had two experiences, but the first was very touristy and commerical, in Vedado on the street, something Hamel, it is not had to find this street, it is very busy on Sundays, and is very commercially, artistically painted.
The real Santeria expereince happened purely by chance. I was on the first beach just East of Havana, next to an old military training facility (I can provide the actual name of the place if needed) drinking beer and swimming...I saw the Santeria ceremony from a distance, they were way down at the end of the beach, but I didn't want to be rude and approach them....later, it started raining and everyone on the beach, including the ceremony moved under a covered area....I took a few pictures, and then was asked very politely not to take any more...I put the camera away and just watched for awhile, a Cuban friend of mine told I could make a small offereing 1 or 2 pesos if I wanted to into the bowl at the front, so I did...a priest explained to me that it is good luck to put the holy water on my forehead and to kiss the drums that are being played, so I did...he then offered me some rum, encouraged me to dance....and the whole time, NO ONE asked me for money, rum...nothing at all! They politley explained to me what was going on, when I got stuck, my Cuban friend translated for me...then, as the ceremony got to its latter stages, the priest politely asked us to leave....
Long story short, it was an AWESOME expereince...and no, almost no one was wearing all white, but they all wore beads, bracelets and necklaces of various colours.
If anyone is interested in learning more, let me know!
Thanks again to all of you who provided advice on this topic.
Jun 4, 2012 5:58 PM
Jun 4, 2012 6:32 PM
Jun 4, 2012 6:35 PM
3singhstar: I must say that all the Santerias I have met have been warm very friendly people. I have attended ceremonies in Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos and Cojimar. It was once suggested that it was my turn to buy the next bottle of rum but that was fair since I did my part finishing the two previous. But I have also been told that my initial offering of 1 CUC was too much and that 5-10 CUP was more appropriate.
Now I have been sold a few sets of beads (chango and yemaya) in Regla for the ailments they determined to have. But when she pointed to my stomach and asked if I had problems there, I replied yes, that I was too fat. Everyone laughed as they said there was no spirit for that and that I would have to eat less.
I know there are some dark ceremonies but everything I have seen has really been happy.
Jun 4, 2012 6:37 PM
4Problem is that there are tons of fakes in Havana.
My wife has told some really scary stuff though, in terms of them knowing/predicting things in her life.
My wife is very much a Santera. I do respect that.
Jun 4, 2012 6:58 PM
5I find it interesting that a number of devout Cuban Catholics are terrified of Santeria. I have asked why since if they really believed in Catholicism then they must not believe in Santeria. How can spirits that you do not believe in do anything to you? No one has an answer.
I have concluded that almost all Cubans, even the devout Catholics, have some Santeria beliefs.
Jun 4, 2012 7:03 PM
Jun 6, 2012 11:57 PM
Sancti SpíritusBook now