Today I’m off to Brazil for 10 days to spend São João which is this weekend! Yes, it’s their winter, and it might rain the whole time I’m there, but it’s one of my favourite times of year. Other than carnival the other biggest music related event in Brazil is São João – St John’s, also known as Festa Junina or June Festival.
The festivities originated during the colonial period to celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist, and are historically related to the European Midsummer festivities. The Northeast of Brazil has very dry and arid landscapes and the festival was an opportunity for the people to give thanks to St John for the rains. Although closely imbedded into the North-eastern culture the festival is celebrated nationwide.
Now a days the festival has evolved into a celebration of traditional rural life, with big street parties in rural areas and now capital cities, with traditional clothing, food, and dancing.
Clothing – guys dress as farm peasants in straw hats and patched up chequered shirts, and girls dress in colourful frilly dresses, their hair in pigtails and freckles painted on their faces.