Fiesta de san sebastian puerto rico: Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián

Fiestas Calle San Sebastian is a Great Puerto Rican Tradition

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The traditional “Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian” brings more than just music to the festivities that nowadays mark the close of Christmas in Puerto Rico.

Music and More at the

Calle San Sebastian

The importance of this festival is that it keeps some of our cultural traditions alive, right in the heart of Puerto Rico’s metro area. We need this cultural injection every year as a reminder of our great traditions. In addition, there couldn’t be a better time for them than right at the end of the Christmas season.

Doña Rafaela Balladares, responsible for the resurgence of the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian in the 1970’s, with the famous “cabezudos”.

Usually, over 50 groups of music, dance, and theater perform during the 4-day Calle San Sebastian festival. In addition, over 300 craftsmen display and sell their art. A book fair also takes place during the event, with over 20 publishers participating. Additionally, they now have a “Baile de Epoca”, where special guests dress formally to dance “Danza”. Finally, there are also performances by folkloric dance groups, showcasing Puerto Rican “bomba” and “plena”.

One of the most popular highlights of the “Fiestas de la Sanse” is the traditional parade headed by the “Cabezudos”. In it, people wearing giant heads made of peppier maché march down San Sebastian street.

Musically, there are always good groups performing on stage. A mix of Salsa groups with some plena and bomba groups is the norm.

On top of that, one of the main sources of fun is participating in the improvised street “rumbón de plena”. Here attendees bring their “panderos” and start playing, with anyone around joining in the singing or by playing their own instruments.

To give you a flavor of what this is like, here is a video of with music from plena group Plenealo. The video captures the essence of these festivities. You can notice the people in the street singing and dancing along with the music.

Short History of the

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian

The festival is said to have its origin in the mid 20th century, when a Spaniard priest of the San Jose Church in San Juan by the name of Juan Madrazo, decided to start festivities similar to the ones done to patron saints (“Fiestas Patronales”) in the other towns of Puerto Rico.

Cabezudos in Calle San Sebastian

As he was thinking of the idea, he traveled to Spain where he saw some festivities using “cabezudos” and decided to bring the concept to Puerto Rico for the festival he was planning. The festival would have some music, traditional dances, and a parade with the “cabezudos” along the calle San Sebastian. Sometimes they would go all the way to “La Fortaleza” (the Governor’s mansion) where then-governor Luis Muñoz Marín and his wife Doña Inés would receive them.

San Juan’s mayor, Doña Felisa Rincón de Gautier (a.k.a. Doña Fela) supported the activities. The neighbors helped to organize the festival and clean up the street afterward. Father Madrazo continued doing this every January for 5 years until he was re-assigned to a different location. His replacement did not continue with the festival and it was temporarily lost.

By 1970, a local San Juan resident, Doña Rafaela Balladares, decided to rescue the festival. She sought volunteers from her neighbors and had some new “cabezudos” done. However, this time the “cabezudos” were made resembling local popular people, making them more familiar to the public. El Gran Combo played for free on the first reincarnation of the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian that year.

This time the tradition stuck, and eventually, the municipal government of the city of San Juan took over its planning and financial support. The “Fiestas de la Sanse” is one of the most anticipated festivities in Puerto Rico, where people from many countries travel here specifically to enjoy them.

[Note: you can read more on the history of the “cabezudos” on the blog HERE.]

My Memories of the

Calle San Sebastian Festival

By now you know that the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian is a great cultural event. However, that’s not the whole story. If you are seeking the cultural aspect of the festival, it is best to attend the many daytime activities it offers. But take note that things change quite a bit at night.

Good Salsa groups will probably be performing in the evening. At this time, the crowds are so big that you can barely walk. Drinking is rampant, although the city has clamped down on that much more these past years than when I used to attend some 30 years ago.

One year, a bottle-throwing fight broke out at the main Plaza San José. I quickly sought refuge in one of the nearby bars, which upon noticing the quick influx of people, decided to quickly close its doors. We were trapped inside, at least until things calmed down outside, but safe. A group of guys started to play plena inside the bar, and no other than Andy Montañez started singing, as he was one of the fellow “refugees” in the bar.

Needless to say, when the doors re-opened, I did not move from that place. I wanted to keep enjoying a close encounter “rumbón de plena” with the great Puerto Rican signer.

The “

Fiestas de la Sanse” Today

Today the “Fiestas de la Sanse” have evolved to better accomodate the bigger crowds. Porta-potties are placed in several places to avoid people having to use the bathrooms of local commerce or worst, use street alleys as improvised urinals. Parking areas have been designated for early arrivals. Other transportation choices include the bus shuttles from the last Urban Train station in nearby Santurce into Old San Juan or taking the “Lancha de Cataño” boat from across the bay.

To avoid the bottle-throwing issues of the past, bars only serve drinks in plastic cups. The crowds are still big, so families tend to plan to go early on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the arts & crafts and the early shows before the big crowds start arriving for the late afternoon and evening shows.

The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian bring great memories to me and million of Puerto Ricans. I hope they continue as a tradition for many years to come.

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Mallorca downwind

Valery Mazanov, editor-in-chief of Companion magazine

— Where are you guys from? — asked the coast guard of the marina of the town of Porto Cristo, in Mallorca, when he saw a dozen yachts mooring with cheerful crews on board.
“From Russia,” I replied.

— And a lot of you?
— About 100 people!
— Wow! Yes, I will have a lot of work today,” the guard shook his head. And I was wrong.

Participants of the Perm Sailing Week, which took place last May for the sixth time, try not to cause trouble for the law enforcement agencies of the countries where the regattas are held. As a rule, the backbone of participants is stable, and every six months yachtsmen meet with old acquaintances. The rules of behavior on the water and on the shore are firmly learned, the laws of racing are unshakable, only the scenery changes. During the three years of the existence of this wonderful initiative of the Perm Yachting Center, regattas have been held in many countries: in Turkey, Croatia, Greece, and now in Spanish Mallorca.

Sea voyages are wonderful in themselves, but participation in the regatta gives them a special touch. First, the competitive spirit, excitement and joy of victory. Secondly, the endless variety: every day the regatta changes its “port of registry”, and in a week the participants manage to see as much as you can’t see in a month on a regular tourist trip. In addition, there is an opportunity not only to consider the country on the coast, but also to admire it from the sea. In other cases, this is a fundamental difference: for example, the same famous Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca looks completely different when you look at it from a yacht.

The incredible dynamics of such travels allows you to visit places where the average traveler is unlikely to even guess to look. For example, a rare tourist bird will fly to the national reserve — the Cabrera archipelago, where among the sights there is only an old fortress on a high hill, and most importantly — pristine nature. Even a yacht cannot be moored to the shore — parking is allowed only on special buoys, and you can get to land on inflatable boats, lovingly referred to by yachtsmen as «tuziks».

From entertainment — a small restaurant with drinks and snacks. The owner of the establishment literally sweated while serving a hundred guests, and when, with the next order of a local alcoholic drink reminiscent of Bulgarian raki (aka Turkish raki), he had to shrug his hands: “Sorry, it’s all over!” His eyes were glowing with happiness. He will be waiting for such revenue for a long time.

The cozy town of Santa Ponsa, where Christ’s warriors landed in the 13th century and from where, as they say, the “cleansing” of Spain from Muslims began. Or Porto Colom, in the southeast of the island, where a beautiful promenade is adjacent to dozens of wonderful beaches, and the historical «fishing» orientation of the town guarantees fresh seafood.

So every evening the participants of the regatta dedicate excursions that smoothly turn into tastings of local cuisine.

There is always a reason for tasting local cuisine and friendly gatherings. In addition to the traditional parties dedicated to the opening of the regatta and summing up its results with awarding the winners, one can celebrate the victory in the race of the past day, the birthday of one of the team members (there are always about a dozen of them among yachtsmen). Therefore, it turns out that every evening is a holiday.

The May regatta was also marked by a common holiday for all — Victory Day. The surprised residents of Mallorca could watch a mysterious spectacle for them: a parade of yachts. From the judge’s catamaran the march «Farewell of the Slav» was transmitted; all the boats lined up and passed in solemn formation with the teams frozen at attention. It was beautiful, touching and very solemn; a special charm to this internal patriotic upsurge was given by the fact that there were flags of different countries on the yachts.

The week flies by. As soon as the last toasts to the winners and the organizers were heard, the triumphant leaders loaded their prizes, the Perm Yacht Center begins preparations for the next, seventh Perm Sailing Week. In October, lovers of the sea, sun and wind from Perm intend to go to Sardinia and ask the local coast guards not to worry: everything will be fun, as always, but culturally.

Photo by Oleg Esyunin

Read more about Mishka’s yacht trips.

Maricao — frwiki.wiki

Municipality Maricao on the island of Puerto Rico (international code: PR.MR) covers an area of ​​96 km² and has 6,449 inhabitants (as of ). It is the second most populated municipality in Puerto Rico.

Summary

  • 1 story
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Economy and tourism
  • 4 Culture
  • 5 links

History

Maricao is known as the «City of Coffee». It was founded on Bernardo Collado, Julian Ayala, Francisco M. Sojo, Napoleon Pietri and Leoncio S. Martinez. In XIX — m century, coffee plantations grew in the region and several elegant plantation houses were built. This situation continued until XX — th century, which marks the end of a very favorable time for coffee farmers and the region’s economy will deteriorate. Some of the old plantation houses are now used by the tourism industry. Puerto Rico maintains a niche in the luxury coffee market, but can no longer rely on large-scale production.

Geography

It is located on the western side of the mountains, on a small esplanade nestled in the hills, north of San German, Sabane Grande and Yauco, south of Las Marias and Lares, southeast of Mayaguez and west of Adjuntas .

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