The most famous of all Cuba festivals is the carnival at Santiago de Cuba, held annually from July 18 to 27. One of the most raucous of Cuban events the weeklong festival celebrates Cuban traditions dating back hundreds of years. Like many other Cuban festivals, the Santiago carnival began as a religious event: the saint day of Santiago (St. James) is July 25. The festivities became a time for celebration by Santiago’s slaves, who introduced some of the dance, music, and costumes still typical of the Santiago carnival. Over the years, the carnival incorporated elements of African, Spanish, French, and communist Cuban traditions and culture.