Festas Junianas –June Festivals in Brazil
The fact that Brazilians like to celebrate is commonly known everywhere. But which Brazilian Festivals, besides the famous Carnaval do you know?
Those days are celebrated in many countries such as Spain, Portugal and many Latin American countries. Also in Scandinavia the traditional Midsummer celebrations are a big festivity in late June.
In Brazil the big day for partying is Saint John (24 of June) which is the most important and most celebrated nationwide. The festa Junina is also known to be traditionally celebrated on the day of St. Johns, which is also the beginning of the Brazilian winter. The history of these celebrations dates back to the colonial period, where the Portuguese introduced the festivities during their colonalization of Brazil between the 1500’s to 1822.
The is typically celebrated the most in the Northeastern regions of Brazil. Here the celebrations have a rural character as the Saint John celebrations mark the end of the rainy season. The typical clothes worn at these celebrations are caipira –clothes (rural clothes) or saloias which represent the traditional form of clothing of inhabitants in rural areas in Brazil or Portugal.
So at a typical Brazilian “Festa Junina” you will come across men wearing straw hats and women wearing pigtails and red –checkered dresses with paint on their faces marked with freckles to give a tribute to the old Brazilian culture and of course country music. Country music, also called forró, is the traditional music of the Northeast and cannot be missed at any June festivity. But even more famous at a Festa Junina is the Quadrilha (Squaredance)
Despite the fact that this event has its origins in the rural areas of Brazil, today the festa de São João is very popular in all Brazilian cities and they even compete about which town can celebrate the largest fiesta in the world. A Northeastern town called Cauraru, in the state of Pernambuco is registered in the Guinness Book of Records for celebrating the "Biggest São João Festival in the World".
Another highlight of the June celebrations is the fireworks and pyrotechnics alongside the huge bonfires wherever you look.
Of course at a Brazilian Party, food can not be missed. All kinds of corn dishes are traditionally a part of the celebrations, such as Canjica, Pamonha and Brazilian Cuscuz are among the most famous dishes served at the festivals. But also a lot of meat and vast quantities of cachaça is consumed during the two weeks of the June festivities.
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