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A Cuban Celebration

A rural Cuban village comes together in an explosive fireworks competition. But will tradition save the festival when things go wrong?


This Module Contains:

  • General DVD with 2.15 hours of digital footage of life in Cuba.

  • Topic-specific DVD with 3.23 hours of digital footage of a Cuban village and festival preparation, celebration, and aftermath.

  • Transcripts of all embedded interviews.

  • Comprehensive background information and summary materials (sample) of the footage, including flowcharts (sample)

  • Cutting-edge curriculum: teaching unit supporting social science standards complete with class activities, grading rubrics, four Power Point presentations, lecture materials, graphic organizers, homework assignments, a video on how to use the footage, and student briefing materials



How does a competition bring a community together? For eleven months a year, Remedios is a sleepy village on the northern coast of Cuba.  But in December the community divides into two teams and each side frantically begins to build a huge float, light wall, and racks of homemade fireworks.  By Christmas Eve the square is overflowing with hand-cranked rides, food vendors, beer trucks, games, and tens of thousands of explosives - and the competition begins.  Tourists pour in from all over Cuba to dance, eat, and enjoy the spectacle.  But behind the scenes things are going terribly wrong.  One side can’t get their light wall to work.  They risk forfeiting the competition.  And then something extraordinary happens…




Teaching Unit Overview:  Human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture.  How do public events like festivals maintain beliefs, values, behaviors, and traditions within a group of people?  What role do these celebrations play in transmitting civic ideals and practices to succeeding generations?  How do they help to define the role of the Cuban citizen within the community and the nation?  Students will examine a famous fireworks festival in Cuba – the secret preparations, key players, issues, and the event itself and its aftermath.  What uniquely Cuban character and cultural traits are showcased in the festival, and what elements are common to other nations’ celebrations?  How does a cultural institution like a festival serve to unify a group?  How does it encourage diversity?


Footage Highlights:

  • Festival Preparations:  Floats, Light Walls, and Fireworks Displays

  • Festival Entertainment – Food Stands, Toys, Dancing, Rides, and Games

  • Costume Design and Construction

  • Light Wall Construction, Repair, and Display

  • Float Construction and Assembly

  • Festival Fireworks

  • Festival Float and Light Wall

  • Festival Celebrations

Licensing Fees

One-year, single classroom educational license: $250. Introductory price: $95.

Site license: contact Take 2

District license: contact Take 2