Noche Buena, which translates to “Beautiful Night” in English, is celebrated on December 24th, and is a time for families to come together and celebrate the holiday season across many Hispanic cultures.
History of Cuba’s Noche Buena
After the colonization of Cuba by the Spanish, Christmas was observed and celebrated across the island. The tradition of attending mass on December 25th continued until 1968, when Fidel Castro eliminated the holiday from Cuban culture. Many in Cuba still quietly observed Christmas, using the Noche Buena dinner to honor Christ’s birth and celebrate as a family.
Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1998, created pressure for the government to reinstate December 25th as a recognized holiday in Cuba.
In Cuba, Noche Buena is celebrated with a special meal, which often features traditional Cuban dishes such as roast pork, yucca, and black beans and rice. It's a time for families to gather together and enjoy each other's company, and many people spend the day preparing food and decorating their homes in anticipation of the festivities.
What will Noche Buena be like in 2023?
Because of the continued hardships in Cuba, this year Noche Buena will look different for millions of families. Economic problems experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic have only worsened. Natural disasters, like the flooding in central Cuba and the continued political and social unrest have made the living conditions untenable for many across the island.
December 2023 will bring a continued lack of fuel keeping many from traveling to gather with loved ones; in addition a lack of food will keep most from being able to provide a sufficient meal for their families, not to mention the luxury of a holiday celebration.
How is Proclaim Cuba helping?
This year, Proclaim Cuba will be raising funds on November 28th, Giving Tuesday to provide families with food for Noche Buena. Proclaim Cuba’s Executive Director, Carlos Alamino, explains, “it's very important that we are empowering the families, the parents, even our ministry pastors. The support that they receive is not enough to do this big celebration for the entire family. So being able to provide to our pastors directly and to provide extra for the church is just unbelievable. I love it. I love it because I can see it in the face of of our pastors, and I can see the impact that this causes in the community.”
Give the Gift of A Noche Buena on Giving Tuesday 2023
With your generous donation, we can provide much-needed food supplies to families in Cuba, helping to ensure that they can celebrate the holidays with a full stomach and a sense of hope for the future. Your donation will go directly towards purchasing food and other essential supplies, and every dollar counts.
Ready to help now? You don’t need to wait to make a difference!