The June festival

A typical northeastern holiday

Photo: Eduardo Coutinho
Photo: Eduardo Coutinho

June is an important month, specially in the Northeast of Brazil, because of the June festival. On June 13th, 24th and 29th are respectively the days to celebrate St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter, being St. John the most important of these three. The parties are usually celebrated on the eve of those days as well.

 

The eve of St. Anthony, June 12th, is also the Brazilian Valentine's Day. St. Anthony is the "wedding saint" in Brazil and for that reason, he's the one "responsible" for uniting the couples.

Canjica - Photo: Fernanda Stephanie R. Carvalho
Canjica - Photo: Fernanda Stephanie R. Carvalho

The food for the June festival is very typical, mostly based on corn. Some examples are canjica (corn pudding) and pamonha (corn dumpling), popcorn, corncobs (cooked or grilled) and munguzá (corn sweet soup).

 

Fireworks are lit and the firecrackers make sure you don't go to bed early on those days. The people light bonfires in front of their houses and decorate their places with colorful buntings.

Photo: Isabella Caetano
Photo: Isabella Caetano

The quadrilha is a highlight. This kind of dance was brought by the Europeans back in the 16th Century and plays a central role in the June festival. To the sound of accordions, concertinas, triangle and zabumba (bass drum), people dance in pairs a rehearsed choreography.

 

They wear funny colorful costumes that depict the caricature of overdressed hillbillies. It's a festival very appreciated by the kids too.

 

The traditional June festival is still vastly celebrated in the Northeast, particularly in the countryside. It's very unique and authentic. Don't miss the chance to experience it in case you are in Brazil at this time of the year.