Festivals and Events
Home to the one of the biggest and most popular parties in the world, Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval, Brazil is well used to pulling out all the stops when it comes to festivals. Flamboyant costumes covered in feathers and sequins, and barely covering the glistening bodies of dancers parading down streets, drumbeats filling the airwaves and caipirinhas flowing freely are all staples as Brazil shows the world the true meaning of the word fiesta.
There is no better way to see in the New Year than joining two million other people on the world famous Copacabana Beach for Reveillon. Fireworks light up the sky over the water as the religious and secular join hands and delight in this mind-blowing pyrotechnic performance. Before the clock strikes midnight, the festival is more of a family affair as parents, grandparents and children feast on tasty street snacks and sip refreshing beverages together. Once the twelfth chime has rung out, the real partying begins.
The Festival of Yemanja
On the second of February every year, millions of people head to the city of Salvador in honour of Yemanja, a powerful goddess according to the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. Dressed in white, people of all ages walk to the seashore, to the small house that is said to have been Yemanja’s home, carrying baskets of gifts, which fishermen then take out to sea and leave there for the goddess. As the sun sets, the streets play host to noisy and colourful parties, which carry on into the night.
This is the big one. Known around the world as one of the best parties in existence, Carnavil will leave travellers breathless, speechless and exhausted as they dance and shimmy until the sun comes back up. Samba music accompanies the sight of sequins as the main parade makes its way through the city of Rio. This is surely one of the most colourful festivals in the world and one that everyone should experience at least once in their life. Booking early is essential and travellers should be aware that prices can sometimes triple during this period.
The sloping fields of Sao Paulo are never as packed out as they are during Lollapalooze, one of Brazil’s biggest music festivals. Taking place over two days, the impressive line-up has seen all kinds of big names in the past, including Skrillex, Alt-J and Marina and the Diamonds. The festival usually sees somewhere around 150, 000 screaming and dancing fans every year. The atmosphere is always electric, making this festival a must for music-lovers from all walks of life.
Parintins Folklore Festival
Second in size and significance only to Carnival, the Parintins Folklore Festival, also known as Bumba Meu Boi or Boi Bumba, celebrates the story of a resurrected ox. The main event of the festival consists of two teams performing a retelling of the legend through dance, song and parade. Each team tries to outdo the other in order to win the competition but they are limited to two and a half hours of performance time each. Amazonian culture is a big part of this event and is a chance for locals to promote and showcase their unique heritage.