Festa Junina: The Brazilian Midsummer Festival
Longingly expected: The Festa Junina
June has arrived in the country and Brazil, this means one thing above all: the long-awaited Festas Juninas are just around the corner.
After the famous Brazilian carnival, the Festas Juninas are considered the second largest festival celebrated in Brazil. With traditional clothing and typical customs, the northeast and south of the country, in particular, are celebrated in high spirits.
The Festas Juninas are a spectacle not to be missed on your Brazil trip. But what exactly is celebrated here? A look into history has the right answers for you.
European customs under the Brazilian sun
The Festas Juninas, so popular in Brazil, have their origins in old Europe. During the summer solstice, the popular festival was organized here to celebrate the beginning of the harvest season. The Catholicism widespread in Europe also led to the combination of the festivities with the homage of three saints in particular: St. Antonio, St. John, and St. Peter. The first countries to adopt the customs of the Festa Junina were Portugal, Italy, France, and Spain.
As we can already assume, the popular festival in Brazil does not happen by chance but was introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period. The custom was adapted to Brazilian conditions so that today the Festas Juninas contain indigenous and European elements.
Forró dancing in the northeast and straw hats in the south
Although Festa Junina is celebrated throughout Brazil, there are some differences between the festivals in the northeast of Brazil and the more southern regions, such as São Paulo, Paraná, or Minas Gerais.
In the northeast, people mainly dance to the familiar rhythm of the forrós, whereas in the south, dances around a large bonfire are more common. In the southern regions, the typical clothing is also very distinctive. The straw hat, for example, is a must. The men dress in checkered shirts and colorful, patched pants. The women get their dresses for the Festas Juninas, decorated with colorful ribbons from the wardrobe. In general, one encounters a rather rural ambiance at the festivals in the south.
Specialties at the Festas Juninas
Dancing so much makes you hungry, of course, but fortunately, you are well prepared for it. Especially the versatile corn dishes are offered everywhere and you will be surprised about the countless possibilities to prepare the corn. In all imaginable variations, you will find the yellow corn here: You can try popcorn, corn cake, and roasted cobs at Festas Juninas. You should also try the dishes that may be unknown to you, such as the coveted pamonhas. These small corn pockets are prepared sweet or savory and provide new energy to enjoy the festival even longer.
The most famous locations of the Festas Juninas
If your curiosity is aroused and you would like to experience a Festa Junina yourself, we will now reveal two cities that are especially famous for this folk festival.
In the city of Campina Grande, in the state of Paraíba, one of the largest festa juninas is held every year. The visitors expect stage shows, fireworks and a lot of music. Every year, Campina Grande welcomes thousands of people to celebrate with them. Here you will experience a Festa Junina that you will certainly not soon forget.
If you're looking for a change of scenery at Festa Juninas, you've come to the right place in the smallest state in Brazil. The city of Estancia in the state of Sergipe is known for the use of a lot of pyrotechnics during the popular festival in June. Here the visitors are offered an extraordinary light spectacle. Estancia lights up the sky during the Festa Junina, making it a particularly magical setting for the traditional festivities.
During your Brazilian vacation in June, you should stop by at the famous Festas Juninas and experience the unique folk festival together with the Brazilians. Get to know the Brazilian customs on your trip and send us your inquiries.