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Festas Juninas


Festas Juninas

A replica of an old-fashioned hot air balloon, used as a safe lamp for St. John's decorations in Bahia. View full-size.

Tatiana Azeviche - Setur


Festas Juninas, or June Festivals, are traditional celebrations which were brought over to Brazil by Portuguese colonizers. They celebrate St. Anthony, on June 13, St. John, on June 24, and St. Peter, on June 29.

Over the course of centuries, as a Brazilian identity came to be, June Festivals developed into a unique kind of celebration with a wealth of regional expressions.

Some of the largest June Festivals in Brazil last through June but have their climax on St. John's Day. Two cities vie for the title of largest São João in the world:

In the northeast, São Luís and all of Maranhão State have many variations of Bumba-meu-Boi. These variations are locally known as sotaques, or "accents".

São João in Bahia attracts thousands of tourists. And the festival in Pelourinho, in Salvador, is fantastic.

Parintins Festival

In late June, a unique kind of boi-bumbá, or bumba-meu-boi, takes place in Parintins, Amazonas. The city is divided in support for two bois, or "oxen", meaning the folk groups that enact the festival - Caprichoso (blue) and Garantido (red). Involvement is so great people paint their houses in blue or red to express their passion.

The Parintins boi-bumbá celebrations take place in the bumbodrome and are often compared in beauty and interest to Carnival in Rio.


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