June Party “Festa Junina”
- This celebration is part of calendar to celebrate the harvest in Brazil. However, it started as a religion celebration, and actually, at some locations, it still preserves a reference to that when identified as “Festa de São João”, or even only “São João” as a reference to the birth of John the Baptist on June 24th, specially in the North and Northeastern regions of Brazil.
- Nowadays it is celebrated for the entire month of June in all regions of Brazil. As part of the typical celebration to the rural life, and those who produce, men and women dress up as farm boys and –girls respectively. In modern times, this festival has become more and more popular, even in urban areas. Therefore, it has become an occasion to wear grand outfits, sing, dance and party the night away. Square dancers are everywhere, turning parks and streets into giant dance floors, this rural dance called “quadrilha” similar to the western style identified as square dance.
- There is also a special celebration in the state of Amazonas, called “Parintins Folklore Festival“, which is the second-largest annual festival in the country (the largest being Carnival). It is held over three days during late June and celebrates a legend about an ox that was resuscitated (“Boi de Parintins”). Two teams will compete in telling long versions of the tale, using song, dance and costumes to rival their competitors. Each show lasts for about 2.5 hours. The Amazonian cultures are brought into the shows, keeping them alive and relevant to the locals. Other regions in the Northeastern of Brazil also celebrate the ox that was resuscitated as part of the June celebrations, with other names such as “Bumba Boi” or “Bumba Meu Boi”.
The Brazilian Association has been promoting a similar celebration annually in Calgary, with the first one dated of 2004. It usually takes place in June, but occasionally it has happened in July, as also in Brazil it is common to have some celebrations as July Party.
The typical musical rhythm for the music and dancing for this celebration is called “FORRÓ”, which includes popular rhythms of the region such as “baião”, “xote”, “arrasta-pé” and “xaxado”.
Forró is traditionally qualified as “Pé de Serra” as a reference to a musician playing the “zabumba”, a Brazilian bass drum, known as “zabumbeiro”, and a second one playing the “triângulo”, known as “triangueiro”, and one playing the accordion, known as “sanfoneiro”.