Brazil is one of the South American countries that is well known for its festive celebrations and annual events. In fact, no matter what time of year tourists visit the country, they are sure to notice the friendly ambience and merry characteristics of the locals. Some of the events for which Brazil is best known are:
Carnival is celebrated throughout Brazil, and each city observes it in its own unique way. This celebration takes place 46 days before Easter and, although celebrated mostly by Roman Catholics (as well as some other Christian denominations), it is believed to have pagan roots, as do many of the modern Christian celebrations (e.g. Christmas). This celebration technically and traditionally signifies the giving up of meat for Lent. Today, Carnival is characterised by brightly-coloured costumes, opulent decorations and jolly music. Dance and music parades fill the streets as the audience looks on and joins in the festivities. These celebrations carry on, day and night, for days on end (sometimes exceeding a week). Coastal cities tend to have more theatrical celebrations than those further inland.
A beautiful mask of "Le Roi Soleil", the french king Louis XIV represented in the brazilian carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
June Parties (Festa Junina)
This celebration commemorates the birth of John the Baptist, a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. This takes place at the beginning of the Brazilian winter and allows the celebrants to thank St John for the rain and to celebrate rural life. The venue for this event is most typically a huge thatched tent. Men and women dress up as farm boys and –girls respectively, and many return to their rural hometowns to visit their families. In modern times, this festival has become more and more popular, even in urban areas. Therefore, it has become an occasion to wear grand outfits, sing, dance and party the night away. Square dancers are everywhere, turning parks and streets into giant dance floors.
Parintins Folklore Festival
This festival is held in the state of Amazonas and is the second-largest annual festival in the country (the largest being Carnival). It is held over three days during late June and celebrates a legend about an ox that was resuscitated. Two teams will compete in telling long versions of the tale, using song, dance and costumes to rival their competitors. Each show lasts for about 2.5 hours. The Amazonian cultures are brought into the shows, keeping them alive and relevant to the locals.
New Year’s in Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro hosts the best known New Year’s party in the world. Partiers come to this event from all over the country and the world to share in the celebrations. Fireworks, music performances and other festivities mark this celebration.
The Brazilian Grand Prix of Formula 1
The Grand Prix is an internationally acclaimed event that continues to excite local and international fans and sportsmen alike. The racing circuit at Interlagos in São Paulo is host to this competition during March or April of every year.
Although this is traditionally a German event, it is well supported in Brazil. Celebrated by the Germans living there as well as their neighbours of many different cultures, hundreds of thousands of people congregate to eat, drink and celebrate all things German.
Other popular events in Brazil include:
• The São Paulo International Cinema Show
• The Gramado Cinema Festival
• The Bahian Carnival
• The Brazilian Beer Festival
• Mixed Race Day
• Modern Art Week