Thursday, July 5, 2012

June Festival (Festival Junina) - Brazil

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” 

Today I stumbled onto a Brazilian party. Not just any party but one celebrating the June Festival (Festival Junina). This festival was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese where the people celebrated European Midsummer. In Brazil, the June Festival originated in the Northeast (Recife, Fortaleza, Bahia) but is now celebrated nationwide. It is sometimes called the Feast of Saint John and is celebrated on the eve of his birth. It also coincides with the end of the rainy season and the beginning of winter in Brazil so the people used to give thanks to Saint John for the rain, since the Northeast of Brazil is very hot and dry. The festival lasts throughout the month of June and is usually characterized by its "forro'' music (accordion prevalent) and "quadrilha" (square dancing). I recorded some of the music and dancing for you. Enjoy!

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