June Festivities in the Brazilian Northeast

Festas Juninas no Nordeste
June Festivities in the Brazilian Northeast

Although the June festivities are celebrated in the four corners of Brazil, in the Northeast region the parties gain a great expression.

The month of June is the time to pay homage to the three Catholic saints: São João, São Pedro and Santo Antônio.

As the northeast is a region where drought is a serious problem, the northeasterners take advantage of the festivities to thank the rare rains in the region, which serve to maintain agriculture.

In addition to making the people of the region happy, the festivities represent an important economic moment, as many tourists visit northeastern cities to follow the festivities.

In the period of the June festivities, hotels, shops and clubs increase profits and generate jobs in these cities.

Videos about the June Festivities in the Northeast

Although the majority of visitors are Brazilians, it is increasingly common to find European, Asian and North American tourists arriving in Brazil to follow these parties closely.

Typical Foods of the June Festival

As the month of June is the time of the corn harvest, most of the sweets, cakes and snacks related to the festivities are made from this food. Pamonha, cural, cooked corn, canjica, cuzcuz, popcorn, corn cake are just a few examples.

In addition to the recipes with corn, also part of the menu of this time: sweet rice, peanut cake, pine nut cake, bombocado, cornmeal bread, cocada, pé-de-moleque, quentão, mulled wine, sweet potatoes and much more.

Festas Juninas – Traditions

Traditions are part of the celebrations. The month of June is marked by bonfires, which serve as a center for the famous quadrilha dance.

Balloons are also part of this scenario, although they are increasingly rare due to laws that prohibit this practice, due to the fire risks they pose.

In the Northeast, the formation of party groups is still very common.

These groups walk and sing through the streets of the towns. They pass by the houses, where the residents leave a large amount of food and drinks in the windows and doors to be tasted by the partygoers.

In the Southeast, quermesses are traditional. These popular festivals are held by churches, colleges, unions and companies. They have stalls with typical food and games to entertain visitors. The quadrille dance usually takes place throughout the quermesse.

Best June Parties in Brazil

The northeast of the country is the main director of the traditional June festivals.

Melhores Festas Juninas do Brasil

The months of June and July are known for bringing the cold and the long-awaited and traditional June festivals.

Throughout the country, the celebrations in honor of São João, Santo Antônio and São Pedro are a great opportunity to eat popcorn, drink quentão and have fun with the quadrilhas and popular dances.

The June festival is considered the second most important in Brazil, behind Carnival.

The northeast region is the one that takes the tradition more seriously and, therefore, holds most of the great June festivals that take place around the country.

Main June Festivals in the Northeast


In Caruaru the animation is intense. There are almost 500 shows taking place in six poles throughout the municipality, gangs with up to 4 thousand people, forrós, giant food festival and parades that fill the Luiz Gonzaga Events Patio.

The city of Caruaru will be decorated with more than 50,000 meters of flags, 60 themed dolls and hundreds of balloons.

The June festivities in the Pernambuco municipality are famous for the striking multicolored decoration of the haystacks and the rhythm of the forró pé de serra.

The quadrilhas move hundreds of people and presentations by renowned artists such as Zé Ramalho and Dominguinhos are already registered trademarks in the municipality.

At this time of year, hundreds of tourists travel to the Northeast to celebrate São João in Caruaru.

The fife bands, mamulengos, cordel literature, quadrilhas and parades are also confirmed presences.

The success of the party has already become a tradition. Every year, São João de Caruaru attracts an audience of approximately 1.5 million people.


Bonfires, fireworks and the rhythm of baião are the hallmarks of the June festivities in the capital of Sergipe.

The famous Arraiá do Povo spreads through the streets and invades inns and restaurants. The festivities spread throughout the state, making Sergipe one of the best destinations to celebrate São João.

In June, Aracaju becomes one of the main festive centers of the Northeast, attracting approximately 1 million people.

Forró Caju makes São João de Aracaju a unique party with attractions of various styles of forró, as well as the presence of national and international artists.

The sound of the accordion, the zabumba and the triangle takes over two spaces: in the Center, between the public markets, Forró Caju takes place, where regional artists and big names in Brazilian music entertain the public; and on the Atalaia waterfront the Arraial do Povo is held, with a scenographic city that imitates a small countryside village.

The São João da Bahia is full of news and for 2015, the event promises to compete with other major parties that take place in the Northeast of the country. Check out the attractions:


The Exhibition Park of Salvador will have 5 days of festivities, starting on June 20 and should amend with São João do Pelô, traditional celebration of the Historic Center of Bahia.

The capital of Bahia stands out for being the city with the biggest June festivals in Brazil.

Throughout the month of June, bonfires and colorful flags can be seen in every corner of Salvador. The presentations of popular gangs take place in Pelourinho and attract hundreds of tourists and locals to dance to the sound of forró.

The June gastronomy of Bahia is also indispensable: aluá, beiju, munguzá and green corn broth are some of the traditional dishes.


The event takes place on the Passarela do Descobrimento.


Known as the land of forró, Ibicuí is one of the most popular destinations in the state for those who want to enjoy São João in Bahia.


The festivities of the season in São Luís are marked by the presentations of the bumba-meu-boi, which usually take place in squares in the city center.

The famous Balcão do Forró, a space where the trios perform, and traditional delicacies such as corn porridge and cuxá rice are the hallmarks of São João in São Luís.

With a different charm, who commands the party in São Luís is the traditional Bumba Meu Boi. In a festival marked by dances and rhythms, the story of the slave Catirina and her husband is told, who need to resurrect the animal they had killed.

Visitors can get to know dances such as the lelê, lump, ribbon dance and Portuguese, as well as, of course, the quadrilhas.


One of the most traditional events is the São João da Capitá that takes place in Olinda.

More than 40 attractions will perform in the scenographic city and in the Vila do Forró. The event has great national attractions, gangs, craft fairs, typical foods and much more.


Considered “The Biggest June Festival in the World”, the festivity in the municipality of Campina Grande takes place throughout the month of June. The quadrilhas, accordion players and performances by artists such as Elba Ramalho, Zé Ramalho and Aviões do Forró attract tourists from all over Brazil.

The festivities take place in Parque do Povo, a 42,000 square meter space that hosts more than 300 typical food and drink stalls. There is also the famous collective wedding, with dozens of couples who commit themselves to the rhythm of forró pé de serra.


The city is famous for having expelled Lampião’s gang 80 years ago and, during the June festivities, the residents’ resistance is staged: the famous Chuva de Bala no País de Mossoró. Typical food and performances by great national music artists also make Mossoró one of the cities with the liveliest celebration of São João.

Main curiosities about Festa Junina

– Festa Junina

The Festa Junina has its origins in European culture from the Middle Ages. It was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese colonizers, but it underwent several adaptations in our territory, where Brazilian traditions were incorporated.

– Bonfire of St. John

For each saint there is a different type of bonfire. In the bonfire of St. John the woods are placed in a cone shape. In the bonfire of St. Anthony, the woods are placed in a square shape. In the bonfire of St. Peter, the woods are in the position of a triangle.

– Joanina Festival

Many years ago, in Portugal, the Festa Junina was called “Festa Joanina”, in honor of St. John the Baptist.

– Songs of Luiz Gonzaga

The songs of Luiz Gonzaga (“the king of Baião”) are the most played in Brazilian Festa Juninas.

– Brazilian Popular Party

Festa Junina is the second most important Brazilian popular festival in Brazilian culture (second only to Carnival).

– Corn

Corn is the basis of many foods of the Festa Junina, since it is in this month that the harvest of corn occurs.

– Northeast Region

The Northeast region of Brazil is the one that most celebrates the Festa Junina.

– Quadrilha

The quadrilha is one of the highlights of the Festa Junina in Brazil. This dance came about as a way of thanking the three Catholic saints (St. John, St. Peter, and St. Anthony) for the harvest that was harvested.

– Largest June Festival

The largest Festa Junina in Brazil takes place in the city of Campina Grande in Paraíba, gathering thousands of people every year.

– Images of the three Catholic saints of the Festa Junina

In the past, images of the three Catholic saints of the Festa Junina were painted on flags and scattered around the party venues. Over time, these flags were transformed into flags, which are still used today to decorate the party environments.

– Typical clothes of the Festa Junina

The typical clothes of the Festa Junina are related to the way of dressing of the inhabitants of the rural area of decades ago.

– Bonfire

The bonfire, a striking symbol of the June festivities, is a tradition of pagan origin, which served to celebrate the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.

– Musical instruments

The musical instruments most used to accompany the music of the June festivities are: guitar, viola, triangle, accordion, zabumba, tambourine and cavaquinho.

History of the Festa Junina and traditions

Origin of the Festa Junina, history, traditions, festivities, typical foods, quermesses, quadrilha dance, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese influence, the parties in the Northeast, St. Anthony’s day, St. John and St. Peter, the sympathies of home.

História e Origem das Festas Juninas no Nordeste

Origin of Festa Junina

There are two explanations for the term Festa Junina.

The first explains that it arose because of the festivities that take place during the month of June. Another version says that this party originated in Catholic countries in Europe and, therefore, would be in honor of St. John. In the beginning, the party was called Joanina.

According to historians, this festivity was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese, still during the colonial period (when Brazil was colonized and governed by Portugal).

At this time, there was a great influence of Portuguese, Chinese, Spanish and French cultural elements. From France came the marked dance, a typical characteristic of noble dances and which, in Brazil, greatly influenced the typical quadrilhas.

The tradition of letting off fireworks came from China, where the manipulation of gunpowder for the manufacture of fireworks would have come from. From the Iberian peninsula came the ribbon dance, very common in Portugal and Spain.

All these cultural elements have, over time, been mixed with the cultural aspects of Brazilians (indigenous, Afro-Brazilian and European immigrants) in the various regions of the country, taking on particular characteristics in each of them.

June Festivals in Caruaru and the North-East

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