As a Wedding and Lifestyle photographer, SanSe Festival is the one weekend you will see me running away from Old San Juan.
Starry's friends were in town for the weekend, and they had scheduled bachelorette trip photos with me as a gift for her. Two little things, though:
- They wanted their photos in Old San Juan.
- Some of their friends would arrive at noon on the first day of the SanSe festival.
Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the entire town gets closed off for festivities, and musical performances on multiple stages across the city make thousands of people flock in attendance.
This time, instead of steering away from Old San Juan, I leaned all the way in to give these ladies a fun, authentic Puertorican bachelorette experience! SanSe it is!
The SanSe Street Festival
The SanSe festival, short for San Sebastián Street Festival, has a rich history that dates back over 60 years. The festival originated in 1954 as a small religious procession to honor Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of San Juan. Over time, the parade grew in size and popularity, and in 1970 it evolved into a full-fledged street festival.
Today, the SanSe festival is a four-day event held annually in January in the historic district of Old San Juan. It is the largest and most famous festival in Puerto Rico, drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike.
The festival features a range of events and activities that celebrate Puerto Rican culture, including live music performances, parades, art exhibitions, traditional dance performances, and street vendors selling local foods and crafts.
The SanSe festival is deeply rooted in Puerto Rican history and identity. It is seen as a symbol of the island's resilience and strength in the face of adversity. It is a time for Puerto Ricans to come together, celebrate their culture, and honor their heritage while also welcoming visitors from around the world to experience the vibrant and rich culture of Puerto Rico.
Bachelorette Photoshoot in Old San Juan During SanSe 2023
To avoid the crowds, we scheduled our photo session earlier in the day, when the festival was just starting. However, this meant that the sun was still quite intense, and we had to walk around to find the perfect locations for our photos.
Despite the heat and the walking, we had a fantastic time capturing the energy and excitement of the festival. The vibrant colors of the traditional costumes, the sounds of live music and dancing, and the delicious smells of the local cuisine all added to the event's festive atmosphere.
After the photo session, we decided to stay in Old San Juan to continue enjoying the SanSe festival. We wandered through the streets, taking in the sights and sounds of the celebration and sampling some delicious food and drink. The heat and excitement of the day meant that we had to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Still, it was all worth it for the incredible experience of being part of this vibrant and exciting cultural celebration.
As I sit here with a huge smile on my face, I can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a unique and unforgettable event. The SanSe festival truly captures the spirit and essence of Puerto Rican culture, and I feel privileged to have witnessed and participated in it firsthand.