Known as the biggest nation in South America, Brazil is an outstanding tourist destination that most travelers long to explore. Extensive stretches of lush green rainforests, sprawling Atlantic shores, and beautiful sandy beaches adorn it. The country is famous for being home to exotic plants and endemic wildlife. Brazil also has abundant mineral resources, particularly gold. The impressive colonial architecture, cathedrals, praiseworthy museums, and various other landmarks showcase its cultural significance. In addition to this, Brazil is famous for having exceptional festive spirit. Brazilians celebrate numerous festivals with full energy. From kids to senior citizens, everyone here enjoys being part of the celebrations. Witnessing the incredible festive spirit in this country is definitely an enriching experience. So, if you have plans for holidays in Brazil, knowing about some popular celebrations in this country will make your trip more interesting. You can pick among the best resorts and hotels to stay in and make your trip extra special. Scroll down to find a list of the top festivals in Brazil that you can attend in order to experience the grandeur of their celebrations.
1. Festival Amazonas de Ópera
One of the best showcases of performance arts in Brazil is the Festival Amazonas de Opera. The festival is held yearly, from March to May, in the Amazon Theatre located in the city of Manaus. The official orchestra of the festival is the Amazonas Philharmonic. The event is considered the main opera event of the country and has been serving for over 22 years. Its current artistic director is the world-class conductor, Luiz Fernando Malheiro. If you’re a fan of operas, catch a performance at this awe-inspiring event.
Festival Amazonas de Ópera
Address: Manaus, Brazil
Website: Festival Amazonas de Ópera
Takes place: April to June
2. Reveillon Rio de Janeiro
Reveillon, or New Year’s Eve, is widely celebrated in all of Brazil, but today we bring you to the city with the liveliest and loudest celebration of this event—Rio de Janeiro. Reveillon in Rio de Janeiro is celebrated in Copacabana Beach. The fun begins early at night when bands perform on stage and come midnight, attendees are greeted with the most spectacular display of fireworks that lasts for about 20 minutes. One of the major events held during Reveillon is Festa de Iemanja (goddess of the sea_ where guests dress in white and send their petitions on small boats into the sea. If the wishes are carried by the waves, it means that the goddess is pleased; if the petitions come back, it is said that the wishes will not be answered.
Reveillon Rio de Janeiro
Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Takes place: December to January
3. Festa Junina
Festa Junina is one of the grandest festivals in Brazil that locals celebrate for the entire month of June every year. People honor the birth of St. John the Baptist during this time and arrange activities with a theme about countryside life. Local food, traditional outfits, festive music, and square dancing within a big tent (arraial) are important aspects of the event. In major cities, celebrations within the festive arraial take place in a building, and the embellishments include multi-hued flags, colorful balloons, and plaid tablecloths. Brazilians put on straw hats and wear peculiar outfits. The kids like to dot their faces with freckles. Do not miss devouring delicious festive treats here, like cake and other goodies.
Address: Brazil, South America (Nationwide)
Takes place: June
The second-largest festive event in Brazil that the residents celebrate with great enthusiasm is Bauernfest. This honors the Germans who moved to Brazil. The festivities happen in Petropolis, a Brazilian city famous for its German influences, and it takes place in June every year. This family-friendly festival sets up three stages, and there are plenty of activities and attractions for the entire family. Bauernfest aims to keep German traditions alive among the locals and German residents. Enjoy listening to great music and watching praiseworthy folk dance. Hone your creativity by trying your hand at arts and crafts, and please your taste buds with authentic German cuisines.
Address: City Center, Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Takes place: June to July
5. Rio Carnival [Previously known as Rio de Janeiro Carnival]
Attend the biggest carnival on the globe by enjoying the celebrations at Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil. Every year, just before Lent, Brazilians celebrate this event with great pomp. You can find versions of this carnival in almost every town and city in Brazil. Enjoy the spectacular parades and admire the participants dressed in multi-colored costumes. Do not miss the Samba Parade - a prominent attraction - happening at the Sambadrome. Admire outstanding open-air performances, and enjoy the fun-filled parties and feasts. Rio de Janeiro is the host of this famous event. About two million individuals that include both locals and foreigners enjoy the festivities on the streets every day. Jive at the splendorous Rio Carnival Ball that people celebrate at various venues. Witness the best of the country’s culture and revel in the festive spirit by being a part of Rio de Janeiro Carnival.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Address: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Website: Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Takes place: February to March
6. Festa do Peao de Barretos
Are you looking forward to watching a popular rodeo during your upcoming holiday to Brazil? If yes, make sure you attend Festa do Peao de Barretos. It is also popularly known as the Cowboy Festival of Barretos. This Brazil holiday and festival is a well-known rodeo that features several horses and bulls. Catch this outstanding event that happens in the municipality of Barretos in Sao Paulo every year. Festa do Peao has become immensely popular for the sheer number of participants it attracts. Cheer up at the rodeo when you watch the horses and the bulls racing.
Festa do Peao de Barretos
Address: Barretos, Sao Paulo
Website: Festa do Peao de Barretos
Takes place: August
7. Festival Brasil Sabor
Please your taste buds by attending Festival Brasil Sabor, which means Brazil Flavor, during your excursion to Brazil. Numerous restaurants and individuals participate in the event and prepare authentic Brazilian delicacies. Every participating restaurant uses local ingredients from the region to prepare scrumptious Brazilian cuisines. Sample a variety of recipes at the biggest gastronomic festival in the world. You can even go for a fine dining experience with your family or friends to taste the authentic flavors of Brazil.
Festival Brasil Sabor
Address: Mercado Cultural dos Pinhões, Fortaleza, State of Ceará, Brazil
Website: Festival Brasil Sabor
Takes place: May
8. Lemanja Festival
Pay homage to the Goddess Lemanja by attending the celebrations at Lemanja Festival in Brazil. Lemanja is a Candomblé deity who blesses the fishermen and the sailors. The event is also popularly known as the Yemanja Festival. At the event, the humble followers of the Goddess of the Sea offer gifts and fresh flowers to the deity at the edge of the ocean. Everybody participating in the festivities dresses up in white outfits. Devotees enjoy the spirit of the event by dancing to music throughout the night.
Address: Salvador - State of Bahia, Brazil
Takes place: February 2
9. Oktoberfest of Blumenau
Experience the festive spirit by attending Oktoberfest of Blumenau in Brazil. This event celebrates German traditions in Blumenau in the middle of October by organizing a variety of German parties and parades. Discover over 150 German delicacies to please your taste buds. Witness the rich and gigantic festive spirit of Germanic culture in Blumenau by attending the Oktoberfest Parade. Watch the folk groups, listen to the bands, and become a participant. Admire the people dressed in eye-catching costumes and enjoy dancing to the tune of German music.
Oktoberfest of Blumenau
Address: R. Alberto Stein, 165-249 - Velha, Blumenau - SC, 89036-200, Brazil
Website: Oktoberfest of Blumenau
Takes place: October
10. The Brazilian Beer Festival
The Brazilian Beer Festival is yet another popular event in Brazil that brings together prominent breweries and craft brewers in the country. The event hosts a variety of recreational activities for brewers, renowned professionals in the industry, and visitors. Have a great time enjoying amazing music and cultural performances. Make sure you attend the informative lectures while here. Sample some of the best flavors and aromas as you enjoy the festivities. Feast on savory delicacies available at the event.
The Brazilian Beer Festival
Address: Rua Alberto Stein, 199, Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Takes place: March
11. Cirio de Nazare
Witness one of the biggest Catholic events on the planet at Cirio de Nazare in Brazil. Locals celebrate this festival honoring the Queen of the Amazon, and more than two million followers attend to pay homage to this deity. Belem is famous for hosting this annual festival for 15 days every October. This place is a prominent port for vessels arriving at the Amazon River, so the celebrations take place here. Light up the candles on the second Sunday of October when you take part in the festivities. Sing songs and learn more about it by reading the pilgrimage book.
Cirio de Nazare
Address: Belem, Brazil
Website: Cirio de Nazare
Takes place: Second Sunday of October
12. Parintins Folklore Festival [Last event in 2019]
Immerse yourself in the marvelous festivities of the Parintins Folklore Festival that Brazilians celebrate every June. The event is also known as the Festival do Boi Bumba. It’s is one of the biggest annual events in the country, right up there Rio de Janeiro Carnival. The festivities last for three days. Learn about the mythical story of the resurrected ox and witness the indigenous culture and folklore of the region during the celebrations. At the event, two groups called Caprichoso and Garantido compete in narrating the Tale of the Ox through songs, dance performances, and a vibrant cavalcade. The event depicting this local legend will enrich your knowledge about their culture.
Parintins Folklore Festival
Address: Parintins, Amazonas State, Brazil
Website: Parintins Folklore Festival
Takes place: June
13. Natal Luz de Gramado
Marvel at the illuminated lights when you attend Natal Luz de Gramado, or Christmas of Light in Gramado, during your winter holiday to Brazil. Be amazed by the view of every street, tree, and house in Gramado all lit up for Christmas. Watch this enchanting city glow with a plethora of lights. Enjoy the festive parades in Brazil and watch praiseworthy theatrical performances. Do not miss dancing to the tune of holiday music. Your kids can also meet Santa Clause and enjoy the magic of Christmas.
Natal Luz de Gramado
Address: Av. das Hortências, 4160-4158 - Vila Suica, Gramado - RS, 95670-000, Brazil
Website: Natal Luz de Gramado
Takes place: October to January
14. Enflor & Garden Fair
If you are fond of colorful, fragrant flowers and garden landscaping, do not miss the opportunity to attend Enflor & Garden Fair in Brazil. Enflor is well-known as a national event that brings together florists, decorators, floral artists, accessories organizations, and wholesale retailers. Garden Fair greets landscapers, garden and green space keepers, architects, real estate developers, and outdoor decor artists. Both events take place in the same venue simultaneously, and they aim to showcase the plant and flower market. Attend these events and see plenty of flowers and plants. Tour through the garden areas and party spaces while here. Also, you can buy your favorite flowers and plants since some will be on sale at the event.
Enflor & Garden Fair
Address: Holambra - State of São Paulo, 13825-000, Brazil
Website: Enflor & Garden Fair
Take place: July
15. Bahia Carnival
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Revel in glory at the world-famous Bahia Carnival in Salvador, Brazil. The event is also famous as the Salvador Carnival and runs officially for six long days. Witness and participate in the parades held on sprawling, open streets. A huge truck known as Trio Electrico carries several equipment and bands, and security guards hold a rope that envelops the truck. Buy a T-shirt and get into the area that rope encircles to best enjoy the fun. Watch and appreciate the open-air music and dance performances. If you love partying, Bahia Carnival is a great event to attend while in Brazil.
Address: Salvador, Brazil
Website: Bahia Carnival
Takes place: February to March
16. Bonfim Festival
Embrace the festive spirit in Brazil at the Bonfim Festival that people celebrate in Salvador. It is one of the grandest events in the state of Bahia. People celebrate it in honor of Senhor do Bonfim (Lord of Bonfim). The parade runs about 10 miles (16.09 km) and reaches the Church of Bonfim. All the followers in the cavalcade dress up in white outfits and carry white candles, white flowers, and vases full of fragrant flowers. At the church, spectators wait to take blessings. While the people receive their blessing, the devotees pour the fragrant water from the flowers on their heads and hands. Also, people clean the steps of the church with the perfumed water. Tie a Bonfim ribbon around your wrist and make a wish, as it’s a popular tradition. Watch dancing on the streets, and feast on festive treats during this iconic Brazil event.
Address: Senhor do Bonfim Square, Salvador, Bahia State
Takes place: Second Thursday of January
Are you a music lover looking forward to enjoying praiseworthy musical performances when vacationing in Brazil? If yes, plan to attend Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo. It hosts a wide variety of musical shows. Hip hop fans will find entertaining concerts, while heavy metal fans will rejoice listening to their favorite bands. Alternative rock, electronic music, and punk rock are more music varieties you can find here. Listen to your favorite genre and have a fantastic time. Besides music, enjoy devouring appetizing delicacies. Also, art lovers can admire impressive art and fashion displays at this fabulous event.
Address: Interlagos, São Paulo - State of São Paulo, 04815-130, Brazil
Takes place: March
18. Festival of St. Benedict
Get to experience the traditional and religious celebrations in Brazil by attending the Festival of St. Benedict. Since 1897, locals have celebrated this event for 30 days each year. Way back, slaves regarded St. Benedict as a symbol of faith and struggle. Today, more than 20,000 individuals attend this festival, and for a good cause - participants raise funds to help educate the poor in the city.
Festival of St. Benedict
Address: Dr. Benedito Meirelles Square, 1, 12570-000, Aparecida-SP, Brazil .
Takes place: July
19. Festival de Cachaça
Formerly known as Festival de Pinga, Festival de Cachaça greets numerous visitors every year. Cachaça is a well-known Brazilian spirit that participants get to taste and enjoy at this event. The drink is made by fermenting and distilling sugarcane juice. Sample a variety of cachaça while you have a great time at this festival. Feast on delicious food and enjoy the local music.
Festival de Cachaça
Address: Av. Nossa Sra. dos Remédios, 172-240 - Pontal, Paraty - RJ, 23970-000, Brazil
Takes place: August
20. Brazilian F1 Grand Prix
Hold your breath as you witness the thrilling F1 racing event popularly known as the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix during your excursion to Brazil. This annual event has taken place in Sao Paulo since 1972. The racing circuit is popular among the drivers and gets challenging due to the constant rain. Enjoy the vibrant carnival atmosphere and the thrill of viewing the world-class F1 race. While here, you can also visit various restaurants and devour delicious local fares.
Brazilian F1 Grand Prix
Address: Autódromo de Interlagos - Avenida Senador Teotônio Vilela, 261 – São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Website: Brazilian F1 Grand Prix
Takes place: November
Revel in the festive spirit in Brazil
Brazil is a fantastic tourist destination with many tourist attractions. Also, this South American country leads in celebrating a plethora of festivals. So, if you are planning to visit this country, make sure you experience the festive spirit here by attending these top festivals in Brazil.
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