Traditions are everywhere. Whether they are cultural traditions or ones you have created with your family; traditions can keep things fun while offering a sense of familiarity.
The same is true for cigars. With hundreds of years of history, cigars have gained numerous traditions of their own. We take a look at some of the traditions that are now associated with cigars and explore ways in which they are still used today!
Only Using Cuban Tobacco
If you try a cigar from the Dominican Republic, chances are, the tobacco within is sourced from at least two locations around the world. In Cuba, it is tradition to only use Cuban tobacco – without Cuban tobacco alone, it cannot be classed as a true Cuban cigar.
Tobacco is grown all across Cuba, with the Vuelta Abajo province being a favourite cigar growing area. Plantations have been found in this region since 1830, and the likes of H. Upmann, Partagas and Cohiba cigars all source their tobacco from this area of Cuba.
Handmade by Torcedors
Hand rolling cigars has been practised in Cuba for over 200 years, and this is a tradition that has not stopped, despite a great increase in the demand and spread of cigars across the globe. While machine-made cigars are available for those after a cheaper smoke, most cigar lovers still seek those made by hand.
Torcedors are extremely skilled at rolling cigars by hand, and many factories in Cuba will still employ many people in these rolls to produce premium quality smokes. While you would think a machine would be able to perfect a cigar, the instinct a torcedor has regarding just how much filler tobacco should be included to create each individual cigar cannot be matched.
This is one tradition that we hope will not be going away, despite constant technological advancements in the 21st century.
Adding a Cigar Band
A significant cigar tradition that originated in Cuba is the addition of a band on each cigar. By 1855, the majority of Cuban cigar brands had taken to adding a band to their smokes. Each brand’s cigar band had a unique design that set them apart from their competition.
The bands have gone on to help establish cigar brands as a status symbol and are as important a tradition now as they were when first created.
Readers in Factories
Since 1845, storytellers have had a home in many Cuban factories, keeping the torcedors and other cigar rollers entertained by reading stories, plays and news reports.
Many factory workers came from poorer backgrounds, so the readings provided them with some source of education.
Today, several factories still employ lectors, and the workers are able to choose from a selection of reading materials. Readings may come from classic books or articles in a newspaper, for example, but the intention is always to inspire the workers.
Do you have your own traditions related to smoking cigars? Perhaps you only smoke them for special occasions or enjoy them alongside a specific drink or snack. If you have your own cigar-related tradition, then leave a comment below to let us know what it is!