July’s Northeastern Celebrations

By Maíra Amorim, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – July is a winter month in Brazil, and that means it is time for “Festas Juninas” (June Parties); traditional parties that take place any time between June and August. The tradition remains at its strongest in the Northeast of the country, but such parties are growing increasingly popular in Rio, where forró music is widely played and where the food and dress play an extremely important role.

Geraldo Azevedo will play in Rio on July 10th, photo provided by Circo Voador.

The most “northeastern” spot in Rio is found at the “Feira de São Cristóvão”, a large pavilion located in São Cristóvão filled with restaurants serving the traditional foods including moqueca and feijoada. During the month of July, the pavilion has a special schedule surrounding the Festas Juninas, and this Friday, July 9th, Beto Barbosa, the king of Lambada (the successful rhythm from the 1980’s) will be performing along with fifteen groups of forró and forty groups of quadrilha, a type of Brazilian line dancing.

Through the pavilion, children will be delighted by games such as fairground “fishing” and darts. The kiosks and restaurants sell typical northeastern specialties such as pé de moleque (caramelized peanut candy), canjica (candy made of corn and coconut milk), grilled sausage, maçã do amor (caramelized apple) and sweetcorn, among others. Be prepared for an intense and original experience, especially if you go on a Friday or Saturday night. Depending on the act the pavilion can get extremely crowded, but even so it is well worth the visit. If the main stage is too full, smaller ones can be found scattered throughout the building.

A "quadrilha" show in full swing, photo courtesy of the Municipality of Olinda.

Other non-“northeastern” locations in Rio also prepare special shows this time of the year. On Saturday, July 10th, Circo Voador in Lapa will host Geraldo Azevedo and Trio Candieiro. Azevedo is a famous forró and MPB singer who performs throughout Brazil at Festas Juninas every year.

There will also be kiosks with games and typical food and a performance by Grupo Zanzar dancing “coco”, another rhythm deriving from the Northeast. Circo Voador will also have a kiosk for the “love mail” game: if you like someone, you can send her or him a message that will be read out loud on stage or given directly to the person.

Also on Saturday, at Fundição Progresso in Lapa, Bangalafumenga will host a party, mixing forró, xote and ciranda with samba percussion. At Parada da Lapa, Fundição’s annex, every Tuesday in July there will be a party featuring the performance of forró group Trio Nortista.


Feira de São Cristóvão

Festas Juninas until August 1st
Pavilhão de São Cristóvão

Geraldo Azevedo – July 10
Circo Voador
Rua dos Arcos S/N, Lapa
Tel.: 2533-0354
R$ 50 and R$ 25 (with student card)

Bangalafumenga – July 10
Fundição Progresso
Rua dos Arcos 24 – Lapa
Tel.: 2220-5070
R$ 50 and R$ 25 (with student card)

Arraial at Parada da Lapa (Every Tuesday in July)
Parada da Lapa
Rua dos Arcos 24 – Lapa
Tel.: 2524-2950
First 100 women free until 11PM. From 11PM to 12AM: R$ 10. After 12AM, R$ 15.

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