Liberation Day in Cuba

Liberation Day is a public holiday in Cuba and is known as Día de la Liberación—or Day of Liberation. It’s a holiday celebrated on January 1st every year and commemorates the date of the removal of President Batista from power in 1959.

Celebrations of this day coincide with New Year’s Day celebrations, so there are military parades, concerts, and fireworks held all over the country. People also attend festivals that feature music, dancing, and, most importantly, food. Food that includes Ropa Vieja, Arroz y Frijoles, Sandwich Cubano, and Lechón Asado.

The History of Liberation Day in Cuba

In 1952, Fulgencio Batista led a military coup in Cuba and had himself installed as president. During the course of his dictatorship, he revoked many personal liberties of Cubans.

Fidel Castro came to see Batista as an oppressive dictator with strong ties to the United States, so he began to train rebels with the idea of eventually removing him from office. In 1953, Castro led a failed rebellion and was exiled to Mexico. He would return in 1956 and begin a guerrilla war against Batista with the aid of Che Guevara.

The tide began to turn against Batista, and Castro would lead his guerrilla army into Havana on January 1, 1959. Batista would flee to the Dominican Republic and would eventually find exile in Portugal. Castro would become Prime Minister of Cuba and set up his brother Raul as his Deputy Secretary.

Observing Liberation Day in Cuba

Liberation Day is celebrated with military parades, street parties, festivals, and concerts. There are also fireworks displays held all over the country. And since it’s a public holiday, many people enjoy the day off to spend time with friends and family members.

Where is it celebrated?
Cuba (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 1 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
January 1 Sunday