By Kate Rintoul, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – June has traditionally been a time of celebration across Brazil with annual Festas Juninas marking the end of the rainy season and the start of the harvest. Although the arrival of the World Cup in Brazil has altered the schedule for many, plenty of events are still taking place over the next few months to mark this historic tradition.
Festas Juninas were originally inherited from European celebrations of the summer solstice and each region in Brazil has its own style of party – from the more religious and family orientated events in the country’s agricultural heartland, to large, music-driven parties in cities like Rio.
Originally from Minas Gerais, Gilberto Azevedo, has experienced the more traditional and religious events in his home state and also enjoys the parties in his adopted home, Rio. “These events are always great fun and delicious to be part of.”
“If people are visiting in Brazil at this time, they need to experience the warmth and energy of a June party, including of course, the typical food, drinks and also the music that is quite different from almost everything that you have seen before,” Azevedo tells The Rio Times.
Azevedo has noticed a difference this year and thinks that the decision by some organizers to alter their dates might have led to confusion with some of the annual June events rescheduled to August. For those not aware, the FIFA World Cup is the largest international football (soccer) tournament held every four years, this one runs from June 12th to July 13th across twelve cities in Brazil.
While some of the bigger parties have been rescheduled until after the World Cup, several smaller events are taking place, with many schools, churches and other events hosting their own parities or incorporating the tradition into existing plans. At Leblon’s annual Babilônia Feira Hype event on June 7th and 8th, Festas Juninas were celebrated by the addition of some foods like associated with the celebration like Quentão, Pé de Moleque, Canjica, Tapioca and Milho Verde, added to the menu.
Rio’s most traditional party, São João da Feira began on June 7th and will run through until July 28, with parties every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8PM.
The fair epitomizes the Northeast and offers all that the region has, with nearly seven hundred stalls and the sounds of forró, maracatu and much more. Situated in a large purpose built event space, Feira de São Cristóvão, onsite parking is available and the venue is accessible from Praça da Bandeira.
What: Feira de São Cristóvão
Where: R. Campo de São Cristóvão – São Cristóvão
When: Weekends, June-July from 10AM to 9PM
On June 27th Fundição Progresso in Lapa will host Arrayeah do Bloco do Sargento Pimenta, featuring one of Rio’s best loved musical acts who perform classic Beatles songs in a carnival style.
What: Arrayeah do Bloco do Sargento Pimenta
Where: Rua dos Arcos, 24, Centro, Rio de Janeiro – Rj
When: June 27th, 10PM
Entrance: R$30 (students) and R$60 (general)
Another one of Rio’s biggest Festa Juninas, Arraial da Providência, will now take place from August 1st-3rd at the stunning Jockey Club in Gávea. Now in its eleventh year this has become one of the most popular and busy June festivals in Rio de Janeiro.
There will be three days of great fun, music, games, typical food and drinks and the opportunity to help others as all income is donated to social projects of the Bank of Providence which operates in seventy impoverished communities in Rio.
What: Arraial da Providência
Where: Praça Santos Dumont, 31 Gávea – Rio de Janeiro
When: Friday, August 1st: 5PM to 1AM; Saturday and Sunday August 2nd and 3rd: 1PM to 1AM
Entrance: Not yet released
With a mix of large and small events taking place, in true Brazilian style, it seems that rather than letting the change in plans dampen things, it’s instead been seen as even more reason for Rio to party over the next few months.