Brazil is known as the country of Carnival, but if there is another celebration that Brazilians missed during the two years of the pandemic, it is the traditional party that takes place in the months of June and July. The popular Festa de São João is our joy, and today I came here to talk about this amazing subject.
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Keep reading and take the opportunity to know everything about this topic.
The origin of Festa de São João
First things first, on June 24th the Catholic Church celebrates the day of John the Baptist – São João Batista, who was the saint responsible for saying loud and clear that Christ came to save us.
And as the Portuguese are typically Catholic, at the time they came to Brazil they brought with them the culture to celebrate this date.
At that time the Festa de São João was called the Festa Joanina, referring to the name of the saint (Joanina is derived from João – São João Batista or John the Baptist).
Later, it was renamed Festa Junina, precisely because it takes place in June. And that’s when it started to aggregate other Catholic celebrations to this party, such as Saint Anthony’s Day, celebrated on June 13, and Saint Peter’s Day, celebrated on June 29.
And although the Festa de São João takes place all over Brazil, it is in our Northeast that the celebration is most intense.
During the entire month of June, the June parties come to celebrate the rains that save the crops and, consequently, contribute to the economy.
And why is Festa de São João so special?
After all, what makes the Festa de São João such a special celebration? In fact, it’s actually the bundle of attributes that comes with the celebration, involving music, delicious food, decoration, and so on.
And what can’t be missed in the celebration?
First of all, the Festa de São João does not happen without a beautiful bonfire, considered one of the symbols of the party. It matches the quadrilha (a type of dance typical in Festa Junina), warms up the guests and gives that fun atmosphere.
If there’s one thing that everyone loves, it’s the menu of the June parties. It brings together dishes made with corn, such as cake, popcorn, canjica (a typical sweet dish), among others, as well as mulled wine, arroz doce (sweet rice), paçoca (a brazilian peanut candy) and so forth.
Each region of Brazil makes small changes when preparing these food, but the base is basically the one I mentioned above.
Besides all that, in the Festa Junina it is common to see fireworks showing up in the sky and, according to belief, they are to wake up John the Baptist.
We call arraial the space where the Festa de São João takes place, it is the one where we decorate with flags, straws, balloons and many other decorative items.
The famous dance is popular in Europe and came to Brazil with the colonizers. It has become one of the traditions of the Festas Juninas.
Country music, frevo and all forró derivations are the most played rhythms at Festa São João, as well as the popular “Marchinhas Juninas” (a music genre dedicated to Festas Juninas) that are a hallmark of the festivity.
Mastro de São João
Finally, during the Festa Junina in the Northeast, a figure of Mastro de São João is erected to congratulate the three saints who give rise to the festivities. In other words: this is a special moment for those who attend these parties.
A party for everyone
Finally, although the Festa do São João has Christian origins, it has become a celebration for everyone. What prevails in it is the contagious joy, which spread all over Brazil, becoming a cultural symbol.
And you, are you a fan of this party? Tell us here, in the comments!