Habanos cancels the Habanos Festival. The 23rd Habanos Festival is not taking place this year. Last week, Cuba opened the Jose Marti International Airport again. That was perceived as a positive sign towards the 23rd Habanos Festival, scheduled for February. But the company decides to cancel the event after all. Due to the covid-19 pandemic that holds the whole world in its grip since early 2020. In an earlier stage, the Nicaraguan festival Puro Sabor was canceled. The third large cigar festival, Procigar in the Dominican Republic has not made an announcement yet. But that festival won’t take place either according to sources close to Ministry of Cigars.
The 2021 Habanos Festival theme would have been Cohiba’s 55th birthday. The flagship of Habanos saw the light in 1966. According to the story, one of Castro’s personal bodyguards had a friend who made cigars, Eduardo Ribera. Castro loved the blend of the cigars. Eduardo Ribera started making cigars for Castro and other government officials under the name Cohiba. Although the brand name was only registered in 1968. All under strict security, as the CIA attempted to kill Castro with a poisoned cigar before. In 1982 the Cohiba brand became available to cigar enthusiasts worldwide, except for the United States. The word Cohiba comes from the Taino language and means tobacco. The Taino are the indigenous Cubans.
At the 45th birthday of Cohiba, Habanos launched the Cohiba. 5 years ago, two commemorative humidors were released. The Grandiosos is the first, and so far only, 60 ring gauge Cuban cigar. The 7×60 Cohiba is only available in the 50 Aniversario humidor, and there are only 50 humidors worldwide. The other special commemorative release is the Humidor Cohiba 1966. 1966 of these 20-count humidors exist. They come with 20 5⅞x58 Cohiba’s.
What Habanos had in mind for the 55th birthday is a secret. But the company did say that “it’s working to surprise the Habano aficionados in 2021”. That there is going to come something special is for sure.
Each year the festival attracts thousands of visitors. Distributors, retailers, and consumers alike. Gala parties, factory visits, and visits to farms are part of the festival. Just like the annual charity auction, that brings in over a million US dollars a year. For the first time, the festival won’t take place. The first festival was in 1999 and it’s the largest, and most anticipated cigar festival in the world.