NEW DELHI: Cuba is settling into a nine day period of mourning known as “Duelo Nacional” (roughly translated to “national pain”) after the death of Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader who died November 25, aged 90.

Castro was cremated on Saturday in Santiago de Cuba, a city in eastern Cuba where he launched the revolution.

The mood in Cuba is sombre, as the government invites people to Revolution Square in Havana for a two-day ceremony, which culminates in a public mass on Tuesday evening. The country came to a virtual stand still as alcohol sales were suspended, flags flew at half-staff and shows and concerts were cancelled after Fidel Castro’s younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro broke the news to the country in a television address on Friday.

(Vigils and ceremonies to mourn the leader are planned across the country)

(As a sign of national mourning, flags will be flown at half staff)

"I say to the people of Cuba, with profound pain I come here to inform our people, our friends of America and the world, that today, 25 November, 2016, at 10:29 pm, died the chief commander of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz," Raul Castro said.

Newspapers across the country took out their weekend editions in black ink as a sign of mourning the revolutionary leader. Radio and television switched their programming to broadcast patriotic and historical content, state news outlet Granma reported. Students and others thronged the streets shouting revolutionary slogans.

(A copy of state newspaper Granma on 26 November, 2016 - the day after Castro died).

On Wednesday, Fidel Castro’s ashes will be taken along the reverse route he took across the island after seizing power in 1959, with the journey coming to an end on Saturday with another mass in Plaza Antonio Maceo in Santiago de Cuba. On Sunday, Castro's funeral will be held in the morning at Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.

The University of Havana, Fidel Castro’s alma mater, saw huge crowds as people placed flowers and photos around the leader’s statue.

(People gathered at the University of Havana to leave messages, flowers and photos)

Tributes from world leaders poured in. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Fidel Castro was "one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century. India mourns the loss of a great friend."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described Castro as "a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and health care of his island nation."

Chinese Premier Xi Jinping said Castro was a "great leader" for the Cuban people and that China had lost "an intimate and sincere friend.” "He achieved immortal historical achievements for the development of world socialism. He was the great person of our era, and people and history will remember him," Xi said. "Great Castro will live forever. "

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said Castro was a friend of Mexico, and had promoted bilateral relationships based on "respect, dialogue and solidarity."

The Kremlin released an official statement of condolence, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling Castro a "symbol of an era in recent world history" and "a sincere and reliable friend of Russia."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement said, “under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education, literacy and health. I hope Cuba will continue to advance on a path of reform and greater prosperity," Ban said.

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Raul Castro as a measure of sorrow for the family and the Cuban people at large.

While Fidel Castro is without a doubt one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century, many have opposed him for his communist ideals. In Miami, Florida for instance -- home to many Cuban exiles -- the mood following Castro’s death was almost celebratory.