Smoking Cigars: A Timeless Ritual or A Sign of the Times
We’re in the future living fast, always preoccupied with what’s to come and never truly living in the present. Social media have taken over the world, proving once again that one picture equals a thousand words. Like any other industry, Cuban Cigars are being vastly influenced by this phenomenon. Over the past few decades, cigars have been widely established as a product synonymous with opulence, luxury, and sophistication. However, is this interpretation that attracts modern-day aficionados to smoking cigars or is there something deeper? Having said that, in today’s blog we take a look at the role of cigars through the decades, discussing whether smoking Cuban tobacco constitutes a timeless ritual or just another sign of the times.
“MAYANS WERE THE FIRST TO USE TOBACCO”
MAYANS AND THE NEW WORLD – The history of the first cigar dates back to the 10th century. Many historians claim that the first Mayans were the ones who invented cigars, or in Mayan Sikar. According to historical researches, Mayans used to tie tobacco leaves together with a string, roll palm or plantain leaves around them and smoke them. The Mayan civilization used Sikars of different blends for different occasions and circumstances, from religious rituals and medical emergencies to tribe celebrations and personal pleasure. However, the European world, as we know it today, became aware of this exceptional creation centuries later, when Christopher Columbus and his men visited the New World in 1492. Particularly, when Columbus and his crew met the Taino tribe that inhabited Cuba and had a chance to smoke this primitive cigar, he decided to bring the plant and its qualities with him back to the Spanish nation for everyone to experience its unique flavours and aromas; a first step which later influenced the creation of Cuban Cigars Online as we know them today.
Left: Mayan Codices portraying the process of a tobacco smoking ritual, Right: A Mayan fresco depicting a man smoking the Sakir, the predecessor of the cigar
“ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN”
EUROPEAN ARISTOCRACY – Soon after Christopher Columbus claimed tobacco for Spain and brought it all the way to the other side of the ocean, aristocrats and the Spanish nobility were the first to welcome Cuban tobacco with open arms. In fact, the flavours of tobacco leaves became popular beyond the Spanish empire, all the way to Portugal, where the French ambassador there, Jean Nicot, was instantly fascinated by its aromas and decided to import tobacco to France. Soon after reaching to the Franch people, Cuban tobacco travelled all the way to Italy and then, the rest of Europe. Nonetheless, Cuban tobacco being an exotic product was quite expensive and, thus, it was mostly reachable for royalty, blue bloods, and the aristocracy of each nation while, in comparison to the Mayans, these smokers puffed cigars mostly for the sake of their flavours rather than their naturally soothing and relaxing qualities.
A MALE DOMINATED RITUAL – Moving closer to the 20th century, cigars were indirectly seen as an instrument of sex discrimination, with only men being socially recognised as cigar smokers. Regardless this imbalance towards women, Cuban tobacco witnessed some of its most glorious days during that era as various strong and influential figures publicly confessed their passion for habanos. Among these were Winston Churchill and his love for the Romeo y Julieta Cigars brand, John F. Kennedy’s favourite H. Upmann smokes, and, last but not least, Aristotle Onassis and his much-adored Montecristo No. 2 Cigar. In addition, all cigar smokers of that era have been serving as sartorial icons and style inspirations to this day. Again, flavours and aromas were what attracted these smokers to Cuban tobacco in the first place, however, for the first time in history, we can clearly see certain aficionados treating cigars as a signature style piece, a product that is not just smoked but, also, concludes their overall outer appearance.
Left: Legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill smoking a cigar, Top Right: Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis with his favourite smoke, Bottom Right: The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, while puffing his H. Upmann cigar
“SERVED AS A TOOL TOWARDS SEX EQUALITY”
BACKLASH FEMINISM – It didn’t take long for women to find their voice and start claiming equality, especially when it comes to their right to smoke the Best Cuban Cigars. Backlash feminism argued that women are not to be forced to choose between the public or the private sphere, but be free to define themselves under their own criteria, without their culture or patriarchy doing it for them. And what a better way for women to fight for sex equality than adopting a male-dominated ritual like smoking cigars? Despite Jennifer Lopez’s weak spot for the Montecristo Petit Edmundo Cigar or the Kardashian sisters’ viral picture where they’re all posing while puffing on Cohiba Cigars, habanos have been serving as both a political and a social mean of contemporary feminism. Of course, there’s no doubt that women choose to smoke cigars for their irresistible flavours and aromas as well, nevertheless, feminism managed to hit two birds with one stone; getting women into smoking Cuban tobacco and taking a step closer to the fight towards sex equality all at once.
LIFESTYLE SMOKING – Today, the ritual of smoking cigars is chained to the world of luxurious lifestyle like never before. Whether it’s a Cohiba Coronas Especiales Cigar or a Trinidad Vigia, contemporary aficionados have all the right ways to make their smoking time a truly luxurious and opulent experience. However, modern-day smokers are not simply focusing on the surface of the ritual but go deep. Contemporary aficionados seem to be quite more knowledgeable, informed, and educated when it comes to Cuban tobacco in comparison to their predecessors. From Vintage Cigars to all the regular formats of a brand’s portfolio, modern-day aficionados know their cigar down to its core.
Pairing cigars with tea at the luxurious Garden Rooms at The Lanesborough in London
Cuban tobacco has written its own history travelling from one aficionado to another for over six centuries. Regardless of the trends or approach of each era, smoking Cuban Cigars for Sale Online remains a timeless ritual to this day. Find out the perfect smoke from our Cuban Cigar Shop and make your smoking experience even more special. Check out our latest stories from our Cuban Cigar Blog now and stay up-to-date with everything that happens in the cigar world.