Enlightening Martí

Enlightening Martí
Fecha de publicación: 
27 January 2022
Imagen principal: 

One of the most symbolic traditions linked to the birthday anniversary celebrations of José Martí is the Torch March. It was an initiative from young people and occurred for the first time in 1953. Living under a tyrannical regime, they got together so the 100th anniversary of the Hero did not fall into oblivion.

But the Torch March continued beyond 1953. It stands, every year, as one of the most patriotic moments for Cuban youth. It takes place across the country and the symbolic starting point continues to be the stairway of the University of Havana.

From the afternoon on, every January 27th, young people from different areas of Havana gather in such a historical place. Students from high schools, universities, military colleges, young workers, and people from nearby neighborhoods converge in close proximity. By nightfall, the inside of the University hill is fully crowded. Some hold their torches. Others try to get one.

The time remaining to start the march vanishes between many greetings, patriotic songs and oiling the torch for combustion. Moments before the start, current leaders and historical personalities take the lead. The crowd lines up and the stairway vibrates with the singing of the National Anthem.

The flames begin to spread from torch to torch until a reddish layer breaks the darkness of the night.

Year after year, there are several thousand people who participate in the Torch March, a march that renews, from the symbolic and the emotional approach, the passions for a better Cuba. This is the march to connect with the Hero and with the Centennial Generation; to evoke the most virtuous of our history; to reflect on what we pursue as a nation; to enlighten Martí...

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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