HAVANA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's annual cigar fair ended in the early hours of Saturday with the traditional auction of unique handcrafted humidors, which raised about 1.3 million U.S. dollars for the country's public health service.
A much anticipated event among cigar connoisseurs, the auction is the highlight of the International Habanos Festival, which this year saw seven one-of-a-kind humidors made of precious woods snatch a total of 1.3 million U.S. dollars.
Canadian bidder Leander Da Silva walked away with the most expensive creation of the lot, a 20-drawer humidor stocked with 580 premium hand-rolled Cohiba cigars, purchased for 380,000 euros (403,600 U.S. dollars).
The funds are earmarked for Cuba's universal health care system, which provides free medical treatment to all citizens.
The closing night gala also saw a raft of festival awards presented for achievement in different aspects of the cigar industry.
The prize for best cigar roller went to Josefa Acosta Ramos; best cigar business went to Edward Sahakian, owner of Davidoff of London, and best cigar industry coverage went to Gordon Mott, a senior contributing editor for Cigar Aficionado magazine.
Chile's Felipe Rojas, meanwhile, was named best cigar sommelier, followed by Britain's Slavomir Marek Bielicki and Krystian Hordejuk, of the United Arab Emirates.
The fair, organized by Cuba's part state-run cigar company Habanos, drew some 2,000 buyers, distributors, collectors and fans from 50 countries.