No Cuban New Year’s Eve without dancing and dominoes

No Cuban New Year's Eve without dancing and dominoes

HAVANA, Dec 31 is celebrated in Cuba in various ways not only with the delicious dinner at the end of the day, which, although important, is like the culmination of other activities that are experienced with family and friends throughout the day. , or at least that’s how it used to be year after year.

Some play movies, and cards, others prefer Parcheesi or Checkers, “La Botellita” or “I Never”, but the place of honor of the traditional games in Cuba in the celebrations is undoubtedly for the domino.

Yes, because Cuba’s national sport will be baseball, but dominoes are as famous as this and have been enjoyed by millions of Cubans on and off the island since they were children. Furthermore, unlike the ball, for a good game of dominoes, you only need the occasion, a table and somewhere to sit… and the party is already set up.

While some watch the meat and others stand out for their culinary skills preparing tostones, fried foods and other dishes, at the domino table the competition of the 55 chips and points is fiercely experienced, to the sound of the gossip and discussions that always surround the game. game.

Dominoes in Cuba, a tradition that is lived

There is no very clear notion of when or how dominoes arrived in Cuba. Some claim that the Chinese introduced it, but there is no doubt that over the years the passion for this game has taken deep roots among Cubans.

“Cinco-mer can’t live”, “the Duke”, “la que inca”, “Nuevitas Puerto de Mar”… these and more typical expressions and the excitement in the face of a difficult play or a hit give it an even more authentic touch to the hobby.

There will always be those who say that dominoes were invented by a mute, but in Cuba things are different, without noise, there is no dominoes, and without dominoes there is no party.

The traditional 28-chip game, known as American head, is played in international competitions and is the most common in the eastern region of the country. However, in the west and center, it is played with 55 chips, from double white to double nine.

The important thing, however, is not the number of chips but the festive and joyful mood that surrounds the table. The thing is that despite the vicissitudes, the Cuban is a party-goer, a happy and sharing person by nature, and what better way to share than to play with friends and loved ones on any occasion that arises.

Likewise, this year, when you give water to the dominoes in each house, you will be saying goodbye to a difficult 2023 and welcoming a new year that will surely bring new challenges, but also new reasons to celebrate.