Thursday, February 29, 2024

Cubans bury’ man alive in mock funeral tradition


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SANTIAGO DE LAS VEGAS: Cuban villagers staged a mock funeral and burial of a living man this week in a boozy festival that has become an annual tradition in a small town near Havana.
A tractor pulled a trailer slowly through the streets in the early morning carrying the man in a coffin and a four-piece tropical band. Behind it, dozens of people drank, clapped and sashayed to the music, as a white-haired woman pretending to be the bereaved widow wept loudly for the “deceased.”
“What a good man he was,” Carmen Zamora cried, dabbing at her eyes with a kerchief. “He’s leaving me all alone. I don’t want them to bury him in the ground. My God, no.”
The celebration in Santiago de las Vegas, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of the Cuban capital, has been held each Feb 5 for the last 30 years and is known as the Burial of Pachencho.
But the atmosphere is more street-party than funereal.
“I never miss this party. I tell my boss and take a day off work,” said 50-year-old Rebeca Morera, shaking her hips to the music. “This is a tradition of my town where I was born and raised. We can’t lose it.”  The bash kicked off on Wednesday with the slow procession to the local cemetery. (Agencies)


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