Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Festa Junina Throughout Brazil 2024

24 June

Festa Junina is celebrated throughout Brazil, but it is at its most intense in the north and north-west regions

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Festa Junina Brazil is not Carnival, nevertheless it is a huge event on the Brazilian calendar. There is song and dancing, although in this case it is more forrό than samba. Also food has a bigger focus than in the Rio Carnival.

Festa Junina is celebrated throughout the nation, but it is at its most intense in the north and north-west regions.

History of the Festa Junina Brazil

Festa Junina
A woman at the Festa Junina Brazil

Festa Junina came to Brazil with the Portuguese Empire and was part harvest festival and part a celebration of the saints: John the Baptist, Saint Peter and Saint Anthony. Over the years it has morphed into a truly Brazilian event and is in many ways a celebration of rural life.

When is Festa Junina 2024?

Though Saturday 24 June is the epicentre of the festival, events build up through June and sometimes slip over into early July.

What to Expect at Festa Junina Brazil

Festa Junina
Woman dressed in traditional Brazilian Jerk.

The festival is a homage to the countryside. People dress up in idealised country/old-style peasant clothes, chequered shirts/skirts and put on straw hats (festa junina roupa). They paint on moustaches, goatees and freckles and women put their hair into pigtails. It’s not too hard to blend in!

These costumes are combined with country music, or forrό, that is danced to in a quadrille/square dance style and decorations (decoração festa junina). This festival is enjoyed at all sorts of levels: in the school, in the home, in bars, clubs, exhibition tents and outdoor events. There may be a bonfire (to keep away those winter chills that may not feel very wintery to tourists), there may be fireworks, and there may even be the presentation of a rural wedding to represent the fertility of the Earth.

Where is Festa Junina?

It is throughout Brazil, though there are considerable regional variations.

What to Eat and Drink : Comidas de Festa Junina

Festa Junina
Canjica is a typical dessert served during Festa Junina Brazil

This is the start of winter so there are two special drinks. Firstly, spiced mulled wine, Brazilian style and, secondly, cachaça, which is distilled from sugar cane. White cachaça is used in mixed drinks (expect all sorts of spicy combinations), like the famous caipirinha, whilst golden cachaça is aged and is drunk neat. Remember, this is a family festival so a range of interesting fruit juices should also be available.

Foodies will have fun during the festival, with all sorts of treats appearing. There is sweet potato and cassava with molasses, Portuguese green soup (with sausage, potato and greens), hot dogs with a difference (the sausages come in a tomato sauce with garlic, peppers and onions that is topped with cheese, corn, raisins and peas) and lots of corn on the cob with salted butter.

For dessert, there are: sweet corn cakes, canjica (grated cinnamon and coconut on top of a mix of corn, condensed milk and coconut milk), pacoça (a peanut, sugar and salt mix), cocada (coconut candies), and tapioca couscous with grated coconut. Pine nuts and popcorn are popular to snack on.

Flights to Brazil

Brazil Beach Pixabay

There are direct flights from London to Sao Paulo with British Airways and Latam. According to Skyscanner these flights are the Greener Choice, emitting less CO2. There are also direct flights to Rio de Janeiro with British Airways.

Portugal has direct flights to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Salvador, Recife, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. From the US, you can find direct flights to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Domestic flights will then link you to all other regional cities.

Things To Do In Brazil

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Mike East

Mike East

Mike began his career in travel writing by writing his own guide on his holidays. He sent this manuscript off to a range of travel guide companies and got a range of rejection letters — all except one. Getting a contract to write for Roger Lascelles Publications on Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas was how his career began. With this opportunity came other pieces for British magazines, The Sunday Telegraph and now Travel Begins at 40.

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