Cuban Santaria & Religion

Santería Cubana

Santería is the most widely practiced religion in Cuba is, known also as the regla de Ochoa or Yoruba religion after the orishas or gods originating from western Nigeria. During the ceremonies in honor of the orishas, each one is invoked by using his or her distinctive drum rhythm and spiritual dance. The previously initiated participants may seem to become possessed and assume certain aspects of the orisha’s personality. How far you wish to look into into such rituals is entirely at your judgment. The yearly festivals of the most popular orishas draw huge crowds. For instance, on 16 December, eve of the feast of San Lázaro or Babalú Ayé, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to the sanctuary at El Rincón to the south of Havana. The most devout Santaristas drag themselves along on their knees and hands, often with large stones tied to their extremities… Another excellent place to learn more about this religion is the first museum in the world dedicated to orshas of the Yoruba panrheon called the Museo de los Orishas (Paseo de Martí (Prado) #615, entre Máximo Gómez (Monte) y Dragones streets.