Events in North East Brazil
The mere mention of carnival elicits excited chatter among both young and old in Brazil. After all, carnivals in this country are a tradition as old as the country itself. During carnival in most cities, a music truck rolls through the streets, samba and jazz music pulsates non-stop, and the locals march behind, dancing and celebrating the event.
Festival of São João
The festival of São João is popular in north east Brazil. In Paraíba’s Campina Grande, this festival takes place once a year in June. As the north east is mostly arid or semi-arid, the people give thanks to São João (St. John) for the rainfall at this time of year, which helps farmers grow their crops. And because this time of year also coincides with the corn harvest, part of this tradition includes an ode to the many corn inspired regional dishes such as canjica, pamonha, and milho verde.
Many major cities in the north east also hold an off-season carnival (or “micareta”), such as the Carnatal in Natal or the Fortal in Fortaleza. Since its inception in 1991, Carnatal has become the largest off-season carnival in Brazil. The event takes place once a year, in December and attracts approximately 1 million participants. The Fortal takes place once a year in the month of July. Held in a stadium called Cidade Fortal, the Fortal is considered the largest indoor off-season carnival in Brazil.
Festa Junina is based around St. John’s Day with festivities beginning on June 12 and running until June 29 marking the tropical winter, rather than summer solstice – as this is the Southern Hemisphere. The festival comprises firework displays, bonfires, 17th, 18th and 19th century European folk dances.
2014 FIFA Football World Cup
The 20th FIFA World Cup tournament is scheduled to take place in Brazil during June and July 2014. It will be the first world cup to be hosted in South America since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. 12 cities have been chosen to host the world cup including Fortaleza, Natal and Recife in the north east of Brazil and Manaus, Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiabá, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
Rio de Janeiro will be the host city of the 2016 Olympics, which is scheduled for the 5th to the 21st of August 2016. The games will be located in four zones across the city including Copacabana Beach, Maracanã, Deodoro and Barra da Tijuca.