The most famous public festival of candomble is undoubtedly dedicated to Iemanjá, goddess of the sea, represented by a figure half woman half fish, and celebrated on February 2nd. She is object of deep veneration by fishermen and sailors as well as being deeply rooted in the Bahian culture. In the district of Rio Vermelho, in a small building there is the image of Iemanjá, and a large crowd gather throughout the day in order to bring their gifts in baskets, or deliver them directly offshore from the coast.
With large or small offerings, devotees do not stop delivering flowers, rings and gifts to the vain goddess of the sea. It is a joyous festival, with the coast taken by people and the sea filled with boats decorated with flowers. In every district and all daylong music is played in small restaurants and bars.
JUNE COUNTRY PARTIES
Festivals of June
Without any doubt, after carnival, the most anticipated festivals of the year.are the June festivals These parties have emerged as celebrations in small towns in the interior of the country and celebrated mainly in Santo Antonio (June 13th), Sao Joao(June 24th) and Sao Pedro (June 29th), Saints have many devotees in Brazil. Over the years these parties have grown and have become major events that attract millions of visitors during the months of June and July.
The June circuit in the Northeast of Brazil is very traditional and known abroad. Caruaru, in the province of Pernambuco, is known as the capital of forró (local traditional dance) while Campina Grande Paraiba province organizes the largest festival of Sao Joao around the world. While each region of Brazil has its peculiarities and characteristics, across the country the "arraiais" are very common. A type of fair with the presentation of traditional foods, dances, fireworks, traditional games and demonstration of devotion.
During the party many games take place, such as the elegant dance, the dance of the chairs, the egg and spoon race, the stick of tallow and target shooting. It is also the time to ask the saints, especially Santo Antonio for a good marriage or work, and after the wish comes true, there are the "simpatias". For example if you want to marry your beloved, you should place two garlic sare in a dish of water on the night of 12-13 June. If in the next morning they are pasted, then your wish will come true
As in Brazil the corn crop is in June, the dishes of rice are a characteristic in the party. In the northeastern of Brazil, with many arid regions, farmers celebrate the good harvest, thanking Sao Pedro and Sao Joao for the much needed rain. The dishes served are pamonha, corn baked cake, Fubá pie, canjica, sweet rice, Pé de Moleque, couscous, cocada, popcorn and hot wine and more.
One of the highlights of the festival is the "Quadrilha,"(square dance) in which participants wear country costumes, the women wear multicolored dresses braids and trims, and the dance is led by a conductor who defines the steps of the choreography.
CIRIO DE NAZARÉ
Belem, capital of the province of Pará, is located at the northern end of the country.
It is known for the shrine of Our Lady of Nazareth or "Maravilha do Pará." It was built in 1852, exactly in the place where around 1700, the caboclo Plácido came across with the image of the Virgin ,and started to give blessings and perform miracles. From the artistic point of view, the sanctuary is a reproduction in a smaller scale of Sao Paulo's Basilica in Rome. Devotion to the Virgin is especially evident in the Círio, an imposing procession with a crowd and 200 years of tradition.
Every year on the second Sunday in October, thousands of devotees kneel before the statue of the Virgin of Nazareth, a small miraculous image of 28 cm. The procession goes through the magic 3 km that separate the two main churches in Belem on a way covered with flower petals, and the ceremony begins with a Mass sung in the early hours of the morning..It all ends in the end of the afternoon.
The procession is slowed down by the "corda", a thick rope 350 meters long. The devotees try to at least touch it in a gesture of extreme devotion, as the image is taken from the place where it's kept Devotees, both men and women, are in two rows, barefoot. Thirst, humidity and fatigue, the hands raised in the effort to keep their place in the procession. As it moves, slowly and in an unstable path, at the rhythm of the diffused music and songs coming out of the speakers along the way.
The "promesseiros" (promise makers) contribute to the tone of the event, by acknowledging receipt of the grace.as they walk in the front carrying a symbol of the grace obtained. Miniatures houses, boats and wax body parts healed enrich and add color to the procession.
FESTIVAL OF PARINTINS
Parintins is a town of 50 000 inhabitants in the heart of the Amazon and where takes place the greatest folk festival of the Brazilian Northeast, which culminates in the representation of two cultural associations: the "Boi Garantido" whose predominant color is red and "Boi Caprichoso" with its blue color. Caprichoso and Garantido are rivals in the party and also throughout the year. Red and blue divide the city in blocks, houses, billboards, phone booths, Banks and others. Demonstrators go to a stadium specially built with the architecture evoking the face of an ox, called Bumbódromo. It is there that each group parades for 3 hours at night, for an audience of about 40 thousand people. Dances of Indian influence, melodies and allegories tell the legends of the Amazon and the daily lives of its inhabitants, fishermen and rubber tappers.
The legend tells the story of Francisco, a settler who killed the best bull of the farm for his pregnant wife Catarina. The boss finds out and goes in search of Francisco. The Indians hide him in the jungle and decide to call a witch and a doctor to resuscitate the ox and ultimately Francisco would regain his freedom. But neither of them succeeds, then only the intervention of the shaman of the tribe would be able to make the heart of the ox. Beat again.
Today in the Parintins Festival, the story of Francisco and Catarina is the second to be told, being the leading roles culture and traditions of the Amazon. Thus, Garantido and Caprichoso dispute the title of Boi-Bumbá at the sound of regional music and cultural representations , offering a breath taking spectacle of beauty. Gigantic animals, allegories that are 17 meters high, magnificent creatures and beings of the imaginary of the Amazon parade on the sand , getting the attention of viewers.
The highlight and most impressive part of the festival is a rite, for which the Indian tribe enters the stadium dressed in feathers of exotic birds of the forest. The colors and ornaments are amazing in their beauty and the air is filled with excitement, the audience sings and dances totally seduced by the energy in the dispute between Capichoso and Garantido to win the title.
In Blumenau, a city in the province of Santa Catarina, it takes place the only Oktoberfest outside Germany. It is an event that lasts 21 days, and has taken place since 1984, the tragic year the city center was flooded.
Instead of being depressed, the citizens decided to join forces, and organize an event that was unique in the country, which would attract tourists and promote the production of beer, strongly impacted by the flood.
Thus started the Oktoberfest in Blumenau. For 21 days there is nothing missing: from the beer that flows like rivers highlighting the natural joy of the Brazilians, the traditional rich snacks served at the tables by young blondes, and the noisy crowd that walk along the streets. In these years we estimate that there are 15 million visitors in the park Vila Germanic . According to the organizers, the simple secret of success is "Oktoberfest is an event that remains authentic and preserves important traditions brought by German immigrants 150 years ago."
And the beauty of these traditions have become known throughout the country. The passion for beer and Bavarian culture actually is felt in almost all of southern Brazil. Other provinces also organize their Oktoberfest, such as Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul, but none like Blumenau. The city's name comes from the Brazilian pharmaceutical German-born Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau, who founded it in 1850 and is today one of the places with the best standard of living in Brazil.