Brazil Holidays

Example of holiday in Brazil: the carnival. Students at Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro.

Hey friends, what’s up? Let’s learn a little more about Brazilian culture today? A new year has started, and it’s typical among Brazilians to check the calendar for Brazil Holidays, and Rio de Janeiro’s holidays. If you want to see more information about how to spend your vacations in Brazil speaking Portuguese, we have this Dica just for you. Do you know the most important Brazilian holidays? No? So, to keep you updated, here are the Brazilian holidays for 2024. Let’s have a look:

Brazil Holidays in 2024

Below you have the Brazil holiday calendar for the current year 2024:

Ano NovoNew YearHolidayJanuary 1st
CarnavalCarnival (Mardi Gras)HolidayFebruary 20th til 22th
Dia Internacional da MulherInternational Women’s
Commemorative DateMarch 8th
Sexta-feira SantaGood FridayHolidayMarch 29th
PáscoaEasterHolidayMarch 31th
Tiradentes TiradentesHolidayApril 21st
Dia do Trabalho Labor DayHolidayMay 1st
Dia das MãesMother’s DayCommemorative DateMay 12th
Corpus ChristiCorpus ChristiCommemorative DateJune 30th
Dia dos NamoradosValentine’s DayCommemorative DateJune 12th
Festas JuninasJune PartiesCommemorative DateJune
Dia dos PaisFather’s DayCommemorative DateAugust 11th (2nd Sunday of August)
Dia da IndependênciaIndependence DayHolidaySeptember 7th
Dias de São Cosme e DamiãoSaint Cosmas and Damian DaysCommemorative DateSeptember 26th and 27th
Nossa Senhora de AparecidaOur Lady Aparecida DayHolidayOctober 12th
Dia das CriançasChildren’s DayCommemorative DateOctober 12th
Dia dos ProfessoresTeachers’ DayHoliday for SchoolsOctober 15th
Dia do ComércioCommerce DayHoliday for StoresOctober 21th
Dia do Servidor PúblicoCivil Servants DayHoliday for Public ServicesOctober 28th
FinadosDay of the Dead (All Soul’s Day)HolidayNovember 2nd
Dia da RepúblicaProclamation of the RepublicHolidayNovember 15th
Consciência NegraBlack Consciousness DayHoliday in Some States (Rio de Janeiro)November 20th
NatalChristmasHolidayDecember 25th

On Dia dos Professores, us at Rio & Learn give our beloved teachers the day off, so they can rest and recharge! This happens in most schools to show our gratitude to these professionals!

On commemorative dates everything works normally in Brazil, but on Brazilian national holidays, Brazilians have a day off. In addition to the national holidays, Rio de Janeiro has its own holidays as well!

Rio de Janeiro Holidays in 2024

Now that we have looked at the holidays in Brazil for 2024, let’s look at some Rio de Janeiro holidays. Remember: they are not celebrated nationally but only for this city:

Dia de São SebastiãoSaint Sebastian’s DayHolidayJanuary 20th
Dia de São JorgeSaint George’s DayHolidayApril 23rd

 Does Brazil have any special holidays?

Brazil has many important festivities that are deeply rooted in our culture. As a Catholic country with due to our Portuguese colonization, Brazil has many religious holidays. Some have retained their Catholic religious nature, such as Easter and All Souls’ Day. Others have adapted and become part of Brazilian culture, even for those who are not Catholics.

Some holidays, though, are not religious, but not less important to our culture. Tiradentes is a particularly important one, that represents the resistance every Brazilian has. Independency Day and Proclamation of Republic also show a little bit of Brazil’s history, which went from a Portuguese Colony to an Empire, and only then to a Republic. Comparing to South America countries, Brazil had a very distinct trajectory in the construction of our politics.

Let’s analyze the most important festivities to understand their purpose:

What is the most popular holiday in Brazil?

students having fun at rio de janeiro's carnival, example of brazil holiday: o carnaval no brasil é super animado!

The famous carnival, was born as a period of celebration before the start of Lent, 40 days of fasting in the lead up to Easter but has become much more than that. Carnival is celebrated in other places across the world, but it is a special highlight in Brazil. It is celebrated in several ways: with Samba School parades or street carnival, for example. It is a period where people dress up and can reverse roles just for fun (many men dress up as women, for example, and without any prejudice).

The street carnival of Rio de Janeiro is designated by Guinness World Records as the largest carnival in the world, with approximately two million people each day. Because even though the carnival parades are one of the biggest highlights of Carnival in Brazil, the party in the streets have a unique flavor. People organize themselves into so-called blocos, where they go out together singing and playing traditional carnival songs and hits of the year. More than 440 blocks operate in Rio, for example, and for many, it’s the true experience of Brazil Carnival.

What is a traditional holiday in Brazil?

example of brazil holiday: as festas juninas têm danças típicas!

Festa Junina was originally created to celebrate St. John, these became folklore parties with typical clothing, food, and dances. The clothing is often very tacky, a great mix of prints and materials. Men typically draw fake mustaches and even monobrows. Women exaggerate on their blush. Some people also darken one of the front teeth with eyeliner, to look like a tooth is missing. That’s because the festivity is themed around an idea of countryside and hillbilly people.

What is an exclusive celebration in Brazil?

saint cosmas and damian in brazil: learn about their feast day and much more about brazilian culture

São Cosme e Damião were Catholic doctors who practiced their profession free of charge. They are now considered the patron saints of children, doctors, and pharmacists. So, there is a festive day dedicated to them in Brazil which is curious. People who need help with something related to personal of family illnesses make promises to São Cosme e Damião in return for their prayers to be heard. To pay for their promises, the worshippers make small bags full of sweets which are distributed to children on September 26th and 27th every year. It is quite common for these bags to be distributed in schools, malls or even on the street. It is the closest Brazil has to Halloween.

Does Brazil have two holidays in the same day?

children's day is in the same day as our lady of aparecida.

Children’s Day was originally a holiday just for Nossa Senhora de Aparecida. As she is the patron saint of children, many people have associated this day with children as well. It is common for children to receive gifts and for their parents to spend quality time with them.

What is a Feriadão?

Here in Brazil, there is something we call Feriadão. It means a Big Holiday, and it happens when the holiday comes next to the weekend. If a holiday falls on a Thursday, for example, most Brazilians won’t work on Friday, if their company agrees. If the holiday is on a Tuesday, Brazilians will usually take the Monday off, it’s especially common in schools and small offices. Is there anything like that in your country?

Brazilian Vacations

In Brazil, when you complete your first year in your job, you have the right to take one month off work and go vacation. Of course, the schedule of the vacation is agreed between the company and the employee. But most of our vacations are between December and February, and people typically take that time to travel.

Now we know the most important holidays, and the Brazilian holidays in 2024. Did you know anything about Brazil’s national holidays before reading our Dica? Are any of these dates the same in your country? Which ones? Let’s compare in the comments!

See you soon!
Hugs from Rio & Learn!

Click on the links below to see more Dicas
Rio de Janeiro New Years
Festa Junina in Brazil
Corpus Christi in Brazil
Holiday in Portuguese

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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