Hamilton, Bad Bunny, José Feliciano, chef José Andrés, and Jimmy Fallon’s famous charisma made of his show’s special in Puerto Rico an epic opening for the San Sebastián Street Festival.
Jimmy Fallon and his team from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon made a special episode in Puerto Rico to raise money to help “small businesses get back on their feet” after Hurricane Maria’s devastation on the island. One of the special’s highlights, apart from Fallon’s Hamilton performance with Lin-Manuel Miranda, was his duet with Bad Bunny performing the hit song “MIA” on the streets of Old San Juan. The video is a slight variation of Fallon’s famous “Classroom Instruments” segment, but as with anything Latino-related, things were much, much bigger.
In a carnival of colors, sounds, and reggaeton beats, Fallon and Bad Bunny’s video is the perfect sneak peek to one of Puerto Rico’s biggest carnivals of the island, the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián (San Sebastián Street Festival).
Taking place on the third week of January every year, the carnival is the perfect way to end the holiday season. This four-day party takes place mainly on San Sebastian street where approximately a third of the island’s population comes together to celebrate with live music, theatrical performances, food, and dancing, and a huge parade representing some of the most iconic aspects of Puerto Rican history and folklore.
Historically, the festival was a religious celebration honoring the martyr San Sebastian, who’s celebrated worldwide on January 20th in Catholic countries. The celebrations start with a special mass honoring the martyr on the third Thursday of January and continue with cultural activities.
The famous “Cabezudos” parade takes place on Friday, with both locals and visitors enjoying the show, accompanied by live music and a lot of fun and festive vibes. Then, Saturday and Sunday bring even more partying and dancing with folkloric and traditional music, as well as modern sounds and beats.
Throughout the entire long weekend, Old San Juan becomes a haven not only for local crafts, traditional food and candy, and handcrafted clothes, but also, for partying, making it one of the best events to hang out with your friends, family, and neighbors. Now, besides being a local celebration, in the past years, the San Sebastian festivities have been taking place at many cities in the US, with the ones in Miami, Orlando, Dallas, and San Antonio being the biggest ones outside Puerto Rico.
If you thought Jimmy Fallon and Bad Bunny’s video was a little over the top, clearly, it’s because you haven’t experienced this historical festival, filled with sounds and flavors. The video, which has thousands of views already, is only a taste of the huge party that’s about to take over the island.
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